The demand for green mung bean grew exponentially as it is being sold for 6000 Birr per quintal at the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX), twice the price registered six months ago.
Ever since the item started to be traded at the ECX, the demand for it showed a significant increase, with the lion’s share of the crop being exported to China, which is the largest buyer of green mung bean from Ethiopia.
On March 25, 2021, an average of 6096 Birr was offered per quintal of green mung bean produced in Shoa, while it costs 5,753 Birr for the same item harvested in Gondar, according to the ECX. This is almost twice the price recorded in July 2020 and 21 percent higher than the average offer made a month ago.
“Internationally, there is a huge demand for green mung bean produced in Ethiopia. And in the last six months, the prices offered by exporters for the item showed a significant increase because of the growing demand from China,” said Netsanet Tesfaye, Communications Manager of ECX.
In the last eight months, ECX has facilitated the trading of 27,000 tons of the product worth one billion Birr. The lion’s share of the crop traded is produced in Shoa, Gondar and Gambella.
“This year, a leading producer of the item, Myanmar has produced less and this has created a huge market opportunity for Ethiopian suppliers and exporters. International price of the item also increased from USD 1,250 to USD 1,750 per ton in just two months,” said Anwar Ahmed, a Consultant with 17 years of experience in providing advisory services for exporters and importers.
“We are a price taker. Mostly, our price is determined by the production and the price of green mung bean in Myanmar, Uzbekistan and Tanzania,” he said.
There are 209,599 farmers producing mung bean in Ethiopia. Last fiscal year, they produced 557,928 quintals of the item on 49,123 hectares. While production of the item showed a three percent decline, the area it covers has increased by 2.1 percent during the same period, according to the Central Statistical Agency (CSA).
“We have a big potential of becoming one of the largest suppliers of green mung bean in the international market. Particularly, areas like Gambella can produce the item in large quantities,” said Netsanet. He also explained that the nature of item is such that it needs short period of time to produce, unlike other commodities including Coffee.
Currently, green mung bean is being sold at the ECX twice the average offer given to Coffee, Ethiopia’s top export item just next to Gold.
The global area coverage of mung bean is about 7.3 million hectares and global output is about 5.3 million tons (2015-17) with India and Myanmar each supplying about 30 percent of this, China 16 percent, and Indonesia five percent.