News Column

Sesame Leaps Ahead of Coffee At Commodity Exchange

July 16, 2014

Fasika Tadesse

This is the second time in six years that Coffee has been outsold by Sesame

Coffee fails to take the lead in trading volume on the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange's (ECX) trading floor for the second time since joining the exchange in December 2008, both times losing out to sesame.

Out of the six commodities traded on the ECX floor, sesame, coffee, mung beans and white pea beans registered notable volumes during a financially successful year for the ECX. In total, 26.2 billion Br's worth of commodities were traded during the current fiscal year; its performance in 2012/13 was 18.9 billion Br.

Sesame first stole the spotlight from coffee, in terms of volume, in 2011/12. Despite the volume, however, coffee still dominated on the total revenue scale in the just ended fiscal year, although the growth rate for sesame is still significantly higher than that of coffee.

Sesame attained a revenue of 11.2 billion Br - up by five billion Birr from the previous year, whereas coffee's revenue of 13.5 billion Br showed an increase of only 1.7 billion Br in the same period. The total volume of sesame sold was 280,000tns. The 1.1 billion Br revenue from white peas was also an improvement of 445 million Br from the previous year. The revenue from mung beans and wheat was only 400 million Br, according to a press briefing by the ECX's interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Shimelis Habtewold, who took the chair from Anteneh Assefa, the CEO who replaced Eleni Gebremedhin (PhD) in August 2012, and resigned a few months ago.

The report showed an increase in absolute terms of nine percent from last year's performance - from 539 million tonnes last year to 586 million tonnes. At the same time, revenue increased by 38pc to 26.2 billion Br, up from 18.9 billion Br the year before. White peas, a low performer, have traded at 65pc of its target.

The market price fluctuation was said to be the reason for the smaller volume of coffee traded, according to the CEO, who pointed this out during the press briefing on Tuesday July 8 at the ECX headquarters near Mexico Square.

Trading volumes of commodities amounted to 391,000tns in 2009/10, 500,000 in 2010/11 and 601,000tns in 2011/12. It would decline to 539,000tns the following year, recovering to 586,000tns in the just ended fiscal year.

The just ended fiscal year has also seen the ECX increasing its members from 100 to 346 - 33 of which are cooperatives and unions, with 2.7 million small farmers under them. The ECX also has 14,725 buying and selling clients, mostly individual businesspeople and farmers.

During the press release, the company also announced it is in the final stages of launching a traceability and online trading system, starting from September 2014.

The online trading system is a 3.8 million dollar project in collaboration with the Investment Climate for Africa (ICF). The system will enable online trade from Addis Abeba directly with remote online trading centres to be established in Adama, Hawassa, Jima, Humera and Gonder.

Tractability is a 1.3 million dollar project assisted by USAID; it will have software that can trace the place where the commodity is from and where it is processed.

"The project, which helps to trace the source of the commodity, is almost finalised and we are checking the software before launching it," said Shimelis.

With the help of the traceability and online trading systems, the ECX plans to increase its trading volume by 20pc and to reach 697.3 million tonees during the 2014/15 fiscal year.

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Source: AllAfrica

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