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December 2018 Global Price Watch

  • Price Watch
  • Global
  • December 28, 2018
December 2018 Global Price Watch

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In West Africa, the 2018/19 aggregate cereal production is projected to be 74.2 million metric tons, above both last year and the five-year average. Regional market supplies are increasing from harvests and demand is at seasonal low-levels. Prices are decreasing compared to the previous months. Prices will continue to evolve along seasonal trends throughout the marketing year, below last year but near average in most countries. Disrupted market activities and atypical prices persist in insecurity-stricken Greater Lake Chad basin, Tibesti region, northern and central Mali, and Liptako-Gourma region. Livestock markets remain affected in some areas by insecurity and limited export opportunities to Nigeria.

    • In East Africa, markets remain severely affected by insecurity and significant macro-economic challenges in Yemen, South Sudan, and Sudan, sustaining significantly above average prices in all three countries. After decking in value for three months, the Yemeni Rial (YER) appreciated in November. Ongoing harvests in Ethiopia and Kenya, and the imminent start of harvests in Sudan, led maize and sorghum prices to decline seasonally, especially in main production areas. Staple food prices are generally below average in Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya.

    • In Southern Africa, domestic maize supplies declined seasonally. Maize grain prices were stable or increasing as the lean season progressed and were significantly above those observed in 2017 due to lower 2018 production. Maize grain prices were mixed when compared to five-year average levels. In Madagascar, locally produced and imported rice prices were stable or increasing at levels well above average. Maize meal prices in the DRC presented mixed trends.

    • In Central America, maize and bean market supplies are near average, supported by the ongoing Postrera harvest and imports. Maize prices seasonally decreased in November but remained above average. Bean prices were below average and followed seasonal trends, except in Nicaragua where prices continued to increase. In Haiti, maize grain prices increased due to the combined effect of market disruptions linked to political unrests, and restricted supplies as planting began in areas that experienced losses during the main Printemps season harvest. Local black beans and imported rice prices were stable or decreasing in key reference markets. Prices remain above their five-year average levels.

    • In Central Asia regional availability and price trends varied with the progression of the 2018/2019 marketing year (MY). Due to prolonged periods of dryness and below-average cumulative precipitation, wheat production is expected to be slightly less than the previous year, but near average. Regional wheat deficits are expected to be filled through intraregional trade. Wheat grain and flour prices have remained stable, but trends vary by country.

    • International staple food markets remain well supplied. Rice, wheat, maize and soybean prices eased in November 2018. Crude oil prices declined significantly in November 2018 as production in the U.S., Russia and Saudi Arabia hit record levels. Global fertilizer prices were mixed, and above average levels.

    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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