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April 2019 Global Price Watch

  • Price Watch
  • Global
  • April 30, 2019
April 2019 Global Price Watch

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In West Africa, final cereal crop production was estimated at 73.2 million MT, seven percent above last year and 18 percent above the five-year average. Current market supplies are abundant, and demand is below average in several countries due to increased household stocks and reduced institutional purchases. Coarse grain prices in the Sahel are decreasing or stable compared to last month, and below last year but generally following average trends. In coastal countries, currency depreciation and inflation sustained above-average rice prices. Disrupted market activities and atypical trends persist in insecurity-stricken Greater Lake Chad basin, Tibesti, and Liptako-Gourma region. Livestock markets remain affected by insecurity and limited export opportunities to Nigeria. As for the outlook, seasonal demand and price shifts are expected from April, triggered by Ramadan consumption needs. Nevertheless, prices will remain near average in most countries.

    • In East Africa, staple food prices were seasonably stable in Somalia, Uganda, and Kenya but atypically stable in Tanzania because of ample availability from the previous harvest. The prices increased earlier than usual in South Sudan and most of Ethiopia as supplies tightened. In Sudan, prices continued to increase unseasonably because of worsening civil and economic conditions. Wheat flour prices were stable in Yemen. Conflict and severe macro-economic instability continued to disrupt markets and sustain significantly high prices in Yemen, South Sudan and Sudan. 

    • In Southern Africa, domestic maize supplies continued to seasonally decline as the peak lean season period progressed. Maize grain prices were stable or increasing in key reference markets except in South Africa where export parity prices fell after increasing for three consecutive months. In Zambia, administrative restrictions on exports have reduced both formal and informal exports during the marketing year (MY). Elsewhere, maize grain was generally able to circulate between surplus and deficit areas.

    • In Central America, maize and bean market supplies remained sufficient but continued to decline following the conclusion of the recent Postrera and Apante harvests. Carryover stocks and imports also contributed to supplies. Maize and bean price trends varied in March. In Nicaragua, the introduction of tax reforms began to have a direct and indirect impact of market dynamics and prices. In Haiti, markets were adequately supplied. Local maize grain and black bean prices were increasing on average while imported rice prices fell. The Haitian gourde stabilized against the USD after depreciating significantly in late 2018.

    • Regional availability and price trends varied considerably across Central Asia with the progression of the MY. Due to prolonged periods of dryness and below-average cumulative precipitation, wheat production is expected to be slightly less than the previous year but near the five-year average. Regional wheat deficits are expected to be filled through intra-regional trade.

    • International staple food markets are well supplied. Maize and rice prices were stable or increasing, while wheat prices were stable or decreasing and soybean prices weakened. Global crude oil prices increased for a third consecutive month, while global fertilizer prices decreased.

    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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