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April 2015 Price Watch

  • Price Watch
  • Global
  • April 30, 2015
April 2015 Price Watch

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In West Africa, market availability was adequate in March, with supplies from recent 2014/15 harvests and international rice and wheat imports.  Staple food prices were stable or declining, except in areas directly and indirectly affected by the conflict in northeastern Nigeria. The recent opening of borders among Ebola-affected countries contributed to improved trade flows in some areas, following disruptions over the second half of 2014.

    • In East Africa, maize markets were well-supplies decline in Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia, and surplus-producing areas of Ethiopia with recent harvests and regional trade flows. Markets were likewise well supplied within Somalia, Sudan, and Ethiopia. Staple food prices were high and variable in the Greater Upper Nile States of South Sudan. Conflict and insecurity continued to disrupt markets in parts of South Sudan, Somalia, and the Darfur and South Kordofan States in Sudan. 

    • In Southern Africa, regional staple food stocks continued tightening in March as the lean season carried on.  Availability remained higher than previous years in South Africa, Zambia, Mozambique and most parts of Tanzania due to the above-average 2014 harvest, keeping staple food prices stable or only marginally increasing even though it was the peak of the lean season. In Zimbabwe and Malawi, however, staple food prices increased significantly driven by limited supplies and the lack of green harvests, normally available starting in March, due to late start and poor quality of the current rainfall season. Maize prices were generally lower than their respective 2014 levels and lower than their respective five-year average levels in all monitored countries except South Africa and Zambia where prices were lower than last year’s levels but significantly higher than the five-year average.

    • Staple food availability remained generally adequate to meet local needs throughout Central America and Haiti. However, market supplies were below-average in Haiti due to the effects of a recent below-average Otoño harvest (October – December) and high demand of seeds to planting, causing atypical price increases for black beans and maize. Maize and red bean prices were stable in Central America due to supplies from the Postrera and Postrera Tardia harvest in Honduras and El Salvador, and from Mexican imports in Guatemala, but remained significantly above their respective 2014 and five-year average levels.

    • In Central Asia, wheat availability remained good in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Prices stabilized in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan after increasing over the last quarter of 2014.

    • International maize, rice, and soybean prices were stable while wheat prices declined slightly in March and all were below March 2014 levels due to very well supplied global markets from record or near record global production in 2014. Crude oil prices increased slightly in March, but remained below 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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