Most important commodity Second most important commodity
trade flows: Maize trade flows: Wheat
The final step in the process of identifying the external trade patterns is to
summarize the information gathered during this process. The questions in
should be written out, and then discussed with major traders and other key
informants (e.g., the World Food Programme (WFP) in a country and discuss
the nature of trade for specific commodities.
In the example from Zambia, there are some important aspects of the external trade pattern
for the country's main staple food that are noteworthy for price analysis. First, in deficit
years maize usually comes from regional markets, especially South Africa and Zimbabwe.
In years that the region has had a maize shortfall, maize has come from as far away as
Argentina. Wheat is imported every year (there is a structural deficit), and is mostly
purchased from within the region (primarily South Africa). If there is a deficit in the region
wheat is sometimes purchased in the United States.
3.2.5 Historical and current marketing policies
The identification of agricultural marketing and trade policies (and their enforcement) is also
important for price analysis. Policies can either enable or constrain the functions of the
marketing system. The result of these policies on observed prices is that they promote
competitive trade or introduce market distortions. Policies that will be examined are
controlled prices, the existence of cereal marketing boards, and those that affect the
assembly, transportation, storage, and processing of cereals.