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February 2017 Global Price Watch

  • Price Watch
  • Global
  • February 28, 2017
February 2017 Global Price Watch

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In West Africa, regional staple food production during the 2016/17 marketing year was well above-average. Current market anomalies are concentrated in the eastern marketing basin, including conflict-related market disruptions in the Lake Chad basin, localized above-average grain deficits in Niger, the impacts of the continued depreciation of the Naira, and the closure of the Libya-Chad border, which has limited imports of processed and manufactured goods.

    • In East Africa, prices remain well above-average in South Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen. While Somalia is facing well below-average domestic production, markets remain severely disrupted by insecurity in Yemen and South Sudan. Uncertain import capacity in Yemen could threaten food availability after January. Staple food prices seasonally decreased or remained stable in Kenya, Sudan, and Ethiopia with ongoing harvests, while increasing in Uganda and Tanzania. 

    • In Southern Africa, regional maize availability is currently below-average and availability in markets continued decreasing with the progression of the lean season. Maize prices are above their respective 2015 and five-year average levels region wide. Maize imports by South Africa and Zimbabwe from well-supplied international grain markets have offset over half of the regional deficit; maize export restrictions in Zambia remain in place. Price increases have been contained in Malawi by large-scale humanitarian assistance efforts underway.

    • In Central America, maize and bean availability remained high with supplies from the recent Primera and ongoing Postrera harvests. Maize prices were seasonally stable or declining and below average across the region, while bean prices were stable. Hurricane Matthew destroyed crops and market infrastructure across much of southwestern Haiti. Prices of locally produced staples remain higher than average as the major markets of Les Cayes and Jérémie recover from Hurricane Matthew. Imported commodity prices remain stable despite the depreciation of the Gourde.

    • In Central Asia, average regional harvests and above-average stocks sustained adequate supplies. Prices were below 2016 levels in Kazakhstan, above-average in Tajikistan, and near average in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    • International staple food markets remain well supplied. Maize, wheat and soybean prices increased, while rice prices were mixed in January (Figure 2). Crude oil prices were stable and 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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