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April 2020 Global Price Watch

  • Price Watch
  • Global
  • April 30, 2020
April 2020 Global Price Watch

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In West Africa, market supplies decreased in March compared to the previous month due to seasonal stock depletion, but also COVID-19 related social distancing and market and trade disruptions. Overall market demand remained below average, despite recent panic purchases related to COVID-19 and in preparation for Ramadan. Cross-border flows reduced substantially with the introduction of movement restrictions. Additionally, staple food and livestock market disruptions persisted in the Greater Lake Chad basin, the Tibesti region, and the Liptako-Gourma region. Both local and imported rice prices were above average in Coastal countries, while coarse grain prices were below average in the Sahel, except in deficit areas. Several governments imposed or tighten controls to limit excessive prices increases.

    • In East Africa, staple food price trends varied, following local seasonal trends across much of the region. Prices declined seasonally in Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, and Tanzania and were stable or increased seasonally across southern Somalia, South Sudan, and consumption markets of Uganda. Prices continued increasing atypically in Sudan and remained above average in many areas of the region due to persistent high inflation and foreign exchange depreciation. Livestock prices remained stable at elevated levels due to favorable rangeland conditions earlier in the year.

    • In Southern Africa, maize supplies on major markets remained at average to below-average levels while maize grain prices remained well above average. Month-on-month trends varied as is usual at this time of year. South Africa continued to supply maize to structurally-deficit countries of the region, while Zambia maintained a formal ban on maize exports. Informal exports continued from Zambia, Mozambique, and Tanzania into neighboring countries.

    • In Central America, maize and beans supplies were average and markets were supplied with beans from the recent Postrera harvest and carryover maize stocks from the main Primera harvest. Maize and beans prices followed seasonal trends in March, maize generally remained above average while bean prices remained below average. In Haiti, markets were adequately supplied with both local and imported staple foods. Staple food prices were stable, except for local black bean prices that increased significantly. Staple food prices remained significantly above average.

    • In Central Asia, wheat prices rose sharply in Afghanistan while prices decreased moderately in Pakistan. Wheat export prices were stable on average in Kazakhstan. In Yemen, the broader conflict and macroeconomic context continued to disrupt overall market functioning and food access with staple food prices remaining above average.

    • International staple food markets remained well supplied. Rice prices increased while wheat, maize, and soybean prices decreased on average. Global crude oil prices fell on above-average supply levels and expectations for a downturn in global economic activity while global fertilizer price trends varied in March.

    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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