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April 2024 Global Price Watch

  • Price Watch
  • Global
  • April 30, 2024
April 2024 Global Price Watch

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In West Africa, cereal prices were stable or beginning to increase from February to March 2024, driven by strong demand and reduced household stocks. Prices remained significantly above their five-year average levels. Production shortfalls and the lingering effects of recent economic sanctions maintained upward prices in Niger; while increased transportation costs exacerbated price levels in Chad. In Nigeria, staple food prices continued to spike amidst a historic annual inflation rate of 33.2 percent. Prices are expected to remain above average across the region through the end of the lean season.
    • In East Africa, staple food prices declined across most markets in March due to above-average supplies from recent harvests and expectations for strong upcoming harvests. Prices increased, however, in Sudan and South Sudan due to conflict-related supply disruptions and currency depreciation. Due to high demand and good rangeland conditions, livestock prices remained elevated in March. Staple food prices are expected to be stable in much of the region. However, conflict in Sudan and economic crises in Burundi, Ethiopia, and South Sudan will likely increase inflation.
    • In Southern Africa, maize prices were atypically mixed across most markets in March due to the effects of El Niño on regional harvests. While Malawi and Mozambique saw more typical seasonal price declines supported by increased imports from Tanzania, prices in Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa increased sharply. Tight supplies and weak currencies in Zambia and Zimbabwe have heightened their vulnerabilities to supply shocks. Increased requirements for grain and energy imports are expected to drive increased inflation throughout the region. 
    • In Central America, white maize supply was close to average, and prices were stable in March except for Nicaragua where prices declined due to a better-than-expected apante harvest. Red bean and black bean prices were stable and remained above 2023 and the average level due to below-average regional production. In Haiti, heightened violence and insecurity led to severe trade disruptions. In Venezuela, monthly inflation eased for the third consecutive month, supporting food price stability both in local and foreign currencies.
    • In the Middle East and Asia, the export price of milling wheat in Kazakhstan and the retail price of wheat flour in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Pakistan remained stable in March 2024. In Pakistan, however, the average price of wheat flour remains higher than last year due to increased export demand.
    • International staple food markets in March were sufficiently supplied. Except for soybeans, global staple food prices decreased due to recent harvests, increased production prospects, and subdued demand. Global crude oil prices rose amidst increased geopolitical risks surrounding disruptions in Red Sea shipping, while fertilizer prices remained stable. Despite the escalating costs from these disruptions, global fertilizer markets are adequately supplied.

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    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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