Online trading platform for commodities in Ethiopia

ECX Pete Lewis Department for International Development Wikimedia CommonsManual trading of commodities will soon be a thing of the past in Ethiopia, as per ECX's plan. (Image source: Pete Lewis/Department for International Development/Wikimedia Commons)Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX) has inaugurated its online trading platform, simply called eTRADE Platform

The new online trading platform has the capacity to trade nearly 5,000 times more transactions than ECX’s current ‘pit trading’ platform. The eTRADE platform was developed entirely by the Exchange over the past two years and is expected to dramatically increase trade efficiency, transparency and accessibility. The project came to fruition in collaboration with the Investment Climate Facility for Africa (ICF) and other partners.

The eTRADE Platform had its soft launch on 20 July 2015, by introducing local washed/unwashed by-product coffee trades. So far, a total trade volume of 2,390 metric tonnes has been traded on the platform, with a trade value of US$5.7mn. ECX has also trained and certified more than 445 exchange trading members and representatives who are now qualified to trade on the platform.

The platform is currently available only at the ECX HQ Trading Centre, and will be gradually rolled out to the newly built regional trading centres in Hawassa, Humera, Nekemte and then at four other regional trading centres across the country. Eventually, it eTRADE Platform will allow market players to trade electronically from anywhere.

Ermias Eshetu, CEO of ECX, said at the inauguration, “The platform inevitably breaks the physical and time barrier of the current open-out-cry trading platform and provides the ECX with vital economies-of-scale to trade a number of additional new commodities.”

The platform is expected to increase efficiency, provide capability to trade other commodities, and enhance ECX’s overall service offerings while building stakeholders capacity.

Speaking about the benefits for farmers from the new trading platform, William Asiko, CEO of ICF, said, It will enable farmers to get better pricing for their produce, thereby creating a more equitable distribution of wealth that has far reaching social implications.”

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