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February 2019 Global Price Watch

  • Price Watch
  • Global
  • February 28, 2019
February 2019 Global Price Watch

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In West Africa, market supplies are sufficient and regular, despite reported below-average cereal supplies due to withholding of stocks. Current demand is below-average mostly due to reduced institutional purchases. Coarse grain prices in the Sahel are decreasing or stable compared to the previous month and below last year but closer to five-year average levels. Above-average rice prices remained elevated in coastal countries due to currency depreciation and inflation. Disrupted trade activities and atypical market trends persist in insecurity-stricken Greater Lake Chad basin, Tibesti region, northern and central Mali, and Liptako-Gourma region.

    • In East Africa, markets remain severely affected by insecurity and significant macro-economic challenges in Yemen, South Sudan, and Sudan, resulting in significantly above average prices. Improved market supplies following recent harvests put seasonal downward pressure on prices in Uganda, Somalia, and Kenya. Prices increased atypically in Sudan due to the ongoing poor macroeconomic context. Livestock prices started to decline seasonally.

    • In Southern Africa, domestic maize supplies declined seasonally as the lean season peaked. Maize grain prices were stable or increasing rapidly particularly in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe. Maize grain was generally able to circulate between surplus and deficit areas, except for Zambia where administrative restrictions on exports have reduced formal and informal export during the 2018/19 marketing year. Export parity prices for maize grain increased significantly in South Africa as the country’s international exports fell from December 2018 levels.

    • In Central America, maize and bean market supplies are near average and supported by the recent Postrera harvest, carryover stocks, and imports. Maize and bean prices generally followed seasonal trends in January, with maize prices increasing and broadly above average, and bean prices decreasing and broadly below average. In Nicaragua, ongoing political tension continued to affect markets and trade dynamics, especially marketing intermediaries. In Haiti, markets were adequately supplied. Local maize grain and black bean prices increased on average while imported rice prices were mixed. The Haitian gourde stabilized against the USD after depreciating significantly in late 2018.

    • Regional availability and price trends varied across Central Asia with the progression of the marketing year (MY). Despite prolonged periods of dryness and below-average cumulative precipitation wheat production is expected to be near average, but slightly less than the previous year. Regional wheat deficits are expected to be filled through intra-regional trade.

    • International staple food markets are well supplied. Maize and wheat prices were stable or increasing, while rice prices were stable or decreasing. Soybean prices were stable in most reference markets except in the U.S. Global crude oil prices increased marginally after falling for two consecutive months, while global fertilizer prices were stable or decreasing.

    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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