Ugandan Traders Braving Juba Market Despite Small Profits

1602 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Some of the traders told Uganda Radio Network that the demand for Ugandan commodities is there but the propensity to consume is low since the economy has been in the doldrums for a while.

Ugandan traders are thronging South Sudan despite earning relatively smaller profit margins.
 
Some of the traders told Uganda Radio Network that the demand for Ugandan commodities is there but the propensity to consume is low since the economy has been in the doldrums for a while.
 
John Abudeko, a vegetables dealer, says a tomato or onion that goes for the wholesale price of 100 Shillings or less in Uganda is sold in South Sudan for 1,000 Shillings, 10 times more.
 
//Cue in: "[Am] selling there …
Cue out: … Uganda is cheap."//

Abudeko says on paying taxes, expenses and exchanging the South Sudan Pound into Uganda Shillings, he remains with a profit of 200 to 300 Shillings.

Although this is still a good margin, it is less than the huge profits traders used to get before the war erupted in 2015.
 
According to Abudeko, the biggest challenge facing Ugandan traders in South Sudan is converting the South Sudan Pound (SSP) into Uganda Shilling in which they lose chunks of the money, hence a smaller profit margin.
 
One hundred SSP that used to exchange for 80,000 Shillings before the start of the South Sudan conflict in December 2015 now goes for 3,000 Shillings.
 
Another Ugandan trader operating in Juba, Faridi Citio, says he transports foodstuffs to Juba daily because they are fast-going even if the profit margin is small.
 
Citio says maintaining the Juba operations is also about securing his capital as he makes some profits. He also complains of the low exchange rate.
 
//Cue in: "Every day we are …
Cue out: … and the capital."//
 
Some of the hot-selling commodities are maize and cassava flour, beans, vegetables, cooking oil, sugar, soap and detergents, beers, soft drinks and mineral water.
 
Others are used clothes, plastic chairs, petroleum, utensils, cosmetics and cattle.
 
Many cargo haulers are making brisk business ferrying the goods. Some stop at Elegu while others make it all the way to Juba.
 
The number of other travellers to Juba is also increasing with Juba-bound buses getting fully booked.
 
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About the author

David Rupiny
In his own words, David Rupiny says, "I am literally a self-trained journalist with over 12 years of experience. Add the formative, student days then I can trace my journalism roots to 1988 when as a fresher in Ordinary Level I used to report for The Giraffe News at St Aloysius College Nyapea in northern Uganda.


In addition to URN for which I have worked for five years now, I have had stints at Radio Paidha, Radio Pacis, Nile FM and KFM. I have also contributed stories for The Crusader, The New Vision and The Monitor. I have also been a contributor for international news organisations like the BBC and Institute for War and Peace Reporting. I am also a local stringer for Radio Netherlands Worldwide.


I am also a media entrepreneur. I founded The West Niler newspaper and now runs Rainbow Media Corporation (Rainbow Radio 88.2 FM in Nebbi). My areas of interest are conflict and peacebuilding, business, climate change, health and children and young people, among others."