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August 2021 Global Price Watch

  • Price Watch
  • Global
  • August 31, 2021
August 2021 Global Price Watch

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In West Africa, grain prices were stable or increased in July compared to the previous month, although they remained above average in most markets – especially for maize. Market supplies continued to decline as the lean season progressed. Despite a small increase in supply from dry-season harvests of flood-recession crops, supplies across the region remained below average. Demand rose seasonally across the region as households’ stock depleted during the July-to-August lean season and with increased replenishment of trader and institutional stocks. Demand for livestock across the region increased significantly compared to the previous month due to the Tabaski holiday.

    • In East Africa, staple food prices followed typical but divergent trends. Maize and sorghum prices declined across most markets in Uganda, Burundi, and Tanzania due to the May-to-August harvest and in South Sudan as a result of exchange rate stability. Prices remained stable across rural Kenya but increased typically in most markets in Sudan as supply tightened. Prices increased atypically in Somalia due to below-average July-to-August harvest and in urban Kenya due to speculative holding. Livestock prices increased in Sudan and were stable in Ethiopia and Kenya, driven by reduced market supply and availability of feed and water, but declined in Somalia after the end of the export period. Poor macroeconomic conditions contributed to elevated prices in Sudan, South Sudan, Burundi, and Ethiopia.

    • In Southern Africa, regional maize supplies during the 2021/22 marketing year (MY) are above average following favorable growing conditions. Intra-regional informal trade is below average due to domestic availability and limited import demand. Prices were stable or continued declining and were generally lower than 2020 levels but remained above average in many countries. South Africa continued to export to international markets, and maize prices there continued to track elevated global reference market prices. These trends were also reflected in neighboring import-dependent countries.

    • In Central America, markets are well supplied and operating normally. Maize prices were stable or increasing seasonally in July. Local bean and imported rice prices were similarly stable. In Haiti, local maize and black bean prices were stable as the spring season harvest progressed despite the ongoing political and security crisis. Imported rice prices were also stable while other imported staples continue to experience depreciation-induced price increase.

    • In Central Asia, wheat prices were stable in July but remained significantly above five-year average levels. Wheat prices in Afghanistan and Kazakhstan were similar to or below 2020 levels. In Yemen, the effects of foreign currency shortages, currency depreciation, and exchange rate volatility due to protracted conflict and other socioeconomic drivers continued to have economy-wide effects. Staple food prices remained significantly above average.

    • International staple food markets are well supplied. Rice, maize, and soybean prices decreased on average in July, while wheat prices exhibited mixed trends. Global crude oil prices were stable on expectations for market re-balancing during the second half of 2021, while global fertilizer prices were generally stable 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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