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December 2014 Price Watch and Annex

  • Price Watch
  • Global
  • December 31, 2014
December 2014 Price Watch and Annex

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In West Africa, markets were well supplied with staple foods in November as regional harvests progressed. Staple food prices were stable or declining, except in areas directly and indirectly affected by the conflict in northeastern Nigeria. The Ebola outbreak has led to both official and voluntary restrictions on the movement of goods and people in affected Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, resulting in atypical market trends in some areas.

    • In East Africa, maize prices continued to decline in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and surplus-producing areas of Ethiopia, and South Sudan as harvests and regional trade flows improved market supplies. Staple food prices were high and variable in conflict-affected areas of South Sudan, but declined in northwestern Somalia and Sudan with the progression of local average to above-average harvests. Conflict, insecurity, and seasonal road condition deterioration continued to disrupt markets in parts of South Sudan, Somalia, and the Darfur and South Kordofan States in Sudan.

    • In Southern Africa, regional staple food availability remains higher than previous years. Harvests from the 2013/14 production year were well-above average in the region’s surplus-producing countries. Maize began increasing seasonally in South Africa in November, but prices throughout the region remain below their respective 2013 levels.

    • Market supplies continued increased from recent Primavera harvests in Haiti (June-August) and Postrera harvests in Central America (October-December). Red bean prices reached record-high prices in many areas of Central America in 2014, but declined in many places in November. In Haiti and Guatemala, black bean prices stabilized in November following recent local harvests. Maize prices followed seasonal trends in October, while local and imported rice prices remained stable throughout the region.

    • In Central Asia, wheat availability remained good region-wide in November. Prices were stable, but above average in many places.

    • International rice and wheat prices were stable, while maize and soybean prices increased slightly in November. Global production for most key commodities reached record or near-record levels in 2014, making for very well supplied global markets. Crude oil prices declined sharply again in November, remaining at their lowest levels in four years.


    Figure 1

    Figure 1. FEWS NET regional price indices and FAO Food Price Index, January 2009 – November 2014

    Source: FAO and FEWS NET

    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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