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August 2017 Global Price Watch

  • Price Watch
  • Global
  • August 31, 2017
August 2017 Global Price Watch

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  • Key Messages
  • Preface

  • Preface

    The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) monitors trends in staple food prices in countries at risk of food insecurity. The Price Watch provides an update on market and price trends in selected reference markets.  Specific trends for key reference markets and commodities are available in the Price Watch Annexes 1 and 2. FEWS NET gratefully acknowledges partner organizations, ministries of agriculture, national market information systems, the Regional Agricultural Intelligence Network, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP), and others for their assistance in providing price data.

    Key Messages
    • In West Africa, regional staple food production during the 2016/17 marketing year was well above average. International rice and wheat imports along with institutional subsidized sales continue to support market supplies. Prices reached their highest levels of the marketing year, with the peak of the lean season in July. Pastoral conditions improved, due to adequate pasture and water availability. Current market anomalies remain concentrated in the eastern marketing basin, including but not limited to conflict-related market disruptions in the Lake Chad basin, localized above-average grain deficits in Niger, trade disruptions related to the depreciation of the Naira and various government measures. 

    • In East Africa, staple food supplies prices are generally above-average across the region and are especially high in South Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen. Markets remain severely disrupted by insecurity in Yemen and South Sudan. The floating of the currency in Yemen caused marginal deprecation and food availability will likely remain constrained in the coming months. Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Ethiopia are also facing below-average staple food supply and above-average prices following recent or ahead of imminent harvests. 

    • In Southern Africa, maize availability is average to above average following recent regional harvests. Regional maize production estimates for the 2016/17 season are good, with record-high harvests anticipated in South Africa. After reaching very high levels in 2016, maize prices followed seasonal trends in July and are at or below their respective 2016 and average levels many areas. Maize grain is generally able to circulate between surplus and deficit areas without major trade restrictions. The exception to these trends is in Tanzania, where measures are currently in place to limit exports. 

    • In Central America, markets remained well supplied with imports supporting maize availability as the lean season reached its peak, while bean supplies continued to decline. Maize prices were generally stable while bean prices were mixed and trends compared to average levels varied. In Haiti, local maize and bean prices continued to ease with the progression of the Printemps harvests. Imported rice prices were stable while the Haitian gourde maintained relative stability against the USD.  

    • Central Asia sustained adequate supplies. Wheat prices generally remained stable in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Forecasts estimate that wheat harvests will be higher than last year in Tajikistan, similar to previous years in Pakistan and slightly lower than last year in Kazakhstan and Afghanistan. 

    • International staple food markets remain well supplied. Rice prices fell, maize prices were stable, while wheat and soybean prices increased. Crude oil prices rose but remained well 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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