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August 2020 Global Price Watch

  • Price Watch
  • Global
  • August 31, 2020
August 2020 Global Price Watch

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In West Africa, market supplies remained sufficient to meet demand, despite normal lean seasonal demand increases. Insecurity-related market disruptions persisted in the Greater Lake Chad basin, the Tibesti region, and the Liptako-Gourma region. Coarse grain prices in the Sahel were near or below average in surplus and self-sufficient areas due to limited trade-related to COVID-19 and purchasing power, but above average in deficit areas affected by trade disruptions. Nigerian food prices continued to rise, with annual inflation increasing for an eleventh consecutive month while the NGN remained substantially depreciated.

    • In East Africa, staple food price trends varied across the region. COVID-19 related movement restrictions continued to contribute to some atypical supply, demand, and price patterns. Maize prices declined in surplus-producing Uganda and Tanzania with the progression of May-to-August harvests and in a context of weak regional demand. Prices increased seasonally in Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, and Sudan as stocks tightened ahead of October-to-December harvests. Prices declined on urban markets of Kenya following the arrival of international imports. Livestock prices remained elevated due to good animal body conditions.

    • In Southern Africa, markets were well supplied with maize as the 2020/21 marketing year progressed in most countries of the region. Prices were stable or varied seasonally in many countries. South Africa continued exporting maize to structurally-deficit countries of the region, notably to Zimbabwe where local production deficits coupled with deteriorating macroeconomic conditions have led to persistently increasing prices. Zambia maintained a ban on formal maize exports but continued exporting via informal channels due to favorable prices in neighboring countries.

    • In Central America, maize and bean supplies were average in July, supported by 2019 carryover stocks and imports in 2020. Maize prices were stable while bean prices were stable or decreasing in July to pre-COVID-19 levels. However, bean prices remained above 2019 and five-year average levels. In Haiti, local and imported staple food supplies were at average to below-average levels in July. The Haitian gourde depreciated further against the USD. 

    • In Central Asia, wheat price trends were stable or decreasing on average in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Wheat export prices decreased 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 levels. 

    • International staple food markets are well supplied. Rice, maize, and soybean prices were stable or increasing while wheat prices were stable or decreasing in July. Global crude oil prices increased further for a third consecutive month, although at a slower pace, as countries continue to lift stay at home orders. Global fertilizer prices similarly increased in July. 

    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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