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February 2023 Global Price Watch

  • Price Watch
  • Global
  • February 28, 2023
February 2023 Global Price Watch

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    • In West Africa, staple food prices declined seasonally or were stable due to ample supply from recent harvests. However, prices increased atypically in areas affected by insecurity, particularly the northernmost regions of Burkina Faso. Prices remained above the five-year average in the region. The high price levels stem mainly from low carryover stocks, cereal export restricions, and insecurity in the Sahel.

    • In East Africa, staple food price trends were mixed. Prices increased atypically in the main producing markets in Kenya and Ethiopia and remained stable at a high level in consumption markets because of below-average harvests and strong demand. Prices declined in production markets in Sudan, South Sudan, and Somalia and were stable in consumption markets due to production levels above average and the previous year.

    • In Southern Africa, maize prices were mixed across most markets and remained above the previous year and five-year averages due to high transportation costs, atypically widespread power failures, and currency deprecations. Price increases occurred in several markets despite declining international maize prices, indicating that inflationary pressures and seasonal factors specific to the region had a more significant impact on prices than international market dynamics. Maize prices are expected to peak seasonally in February and begin seasonal declines in April as early harvests commence.

    • In Central America, markets remained supplied with local and imported goods. White maize and red bean prices increased due to higher production and transportation costs. Black bean prices were stable due to adequate stocks. In Haiti, market function continued to improve in January; however, security conditions deteriorated on major roadways and disrupted supply routes. Staple prices increased across most markets, driven by a below-average fall harvest, soaring transportation prices, and currency depreciation.

    • In Central Asia, staple food prices continued to show mixed trends. Wheat flour remained stable in Afghanistan, while in Pakistan, prices increased for wheat flour and basmati rice by 15 and 16 percent, respectively. In Yemen, diesel prices in IRG areas dropped 11 percent in January, decreasing for the sixth consecutive month given steady availability, while the Ministry of Industry and Trade announced a tax on a list of non-food items that drove a sharp increase in prices of imported goods including staple foods. Despite a further drop in fuel prices and a stable rial in Sana’a, prices of imported staple foods increased in SBA areas in January—except for price-capped wheat flour.

    • International staple food markets were sufficiently supplied. Global staple food prices decreased (except rice), crude oil prices increased, and fertilizer prices decreased due to lower seasonal demand and lower global gas prices. However, prices remain above the five-year average.

    Price Watch offers a monthly summary and outlook on global, regional and national trends of key commodity prices in FEWS NET countries. Analysis may touch on global issues, such as fuel prices or exchange rates, if they are likely to influence staple food prices in FEWS NET countries. The accompanying Price Watch Annex details price trends by country.

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