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February 2018 Global Price Watch

  • Price Watch
  • Global
  • February 28, 2018
February 2018 Global Price Watch

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In West Africa, regional staple food production for the 2017/18 marketing year is estimated to be above average, increasing for the fourth consecutive year. Locally-produced grain prices were stable at seasonally low levels, but remained above average across much of the region. Below average pastoral conditions and reduced exports to Nigeria continue to influence livestock markets in many areas. Market anomalies remain largely concentrated in the eastern marketing basin.

    • In East Africa, markets remain severely disrupted by insecurity and significant macro-economic issues in Yemen and South Sudan, impeding staple food supply access and putting upward pressure on prices. Staple food prices varied acorss the region. Currency depreciation, elimination of wheat and wheat flour subsidies, and the delayed harvest drove atypical price increases in Sudan and kept prices significantly above average.  Prices were atypically stable or declining in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania. 

    • In Southern Africa, domestic maize supplies are beginning to tighten in maize deficit countries but remain available in surplus producing South Africa and Zambia. Maize prices exhibited mixed trends as the lean season progressed but were generally below average levels for most of the region. Maize grain is generally able to circulate between surplus and deficit areas without major trade restrictions within the region. Export parity prices remain competitive, encouraging exports to East Africa (from Zambia and South Africa) and international markets (from South Africa).

    • In Central America, maize and bean availability remained high with supplies from the recent average to above-average Primera harvest and Postrera harvest. While maize prices remain below average across the region, bean prices varied. In Haiti, local black bean prices were mixed while local maize grain prices tightened for a second consecutive month due to below average supply. The price of imported maize meal decreased while imported rice prices remained firm.

    • Central Asia sustained adequate supplies and intra-regional trade is expected to fill regional wheat deficits. Kazakhstan and Pakistan are expected to have above-average wheat harvests in MY 2017/18. Wheat prices remained stable though are below-average in the region’s largest exporter, Kazakhstan.

    • International staple food markets remain well supplied. Rice, maize, wheat and soybean prices rose in January largely from a combination of higher import demand and concerns over growing conditions for major producers. Crude oil prices tightened for the seven consecutive month and remain at their highest since December 2014.

    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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