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February 2021 Global Price Watch

  • Price Watch
  • Global
  • February 26, 2021
February 2021 Global Price Watch

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In West Africa, market supplies continued increasing following recent harvests, but remained below average, notably in Nigeria. Insecurity and conflict continued to affect food and livestock markets in the Greater Lake Chad basin, the Liptako-Gourma region, northwest and northcentral Nigeria, and the Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon. Market demand increased atypically in Niger as traders and institutions replenished their stocks. Prices were decreasing or stable compared to December, but above average in general – especially in Nigeria due to inflation and elevated transport costs. Supplies will be adequate despite above-average demand throughout the marketing year. Prices will follow seasonal trends at above-average levels.

    • In East Africa, staple food prices declined seasonally or remained stable across many markets across the region because of increased supplies from the October-to-January harvest. Livestock prices remained stable or declined slightly in key reference markets because of reduced water and feed during the December-to-April dry season but were still above average. Prices increased atypically post-harvest in many markets in Uganda due to election-related uncertainty adversely affecting trade and markets and in southern Somalia due to the below-average harvest. Poor macro-economic conditions continue to heighten staple food commodity prices in Sudan, South Sudan, and Ethiopia.

    • In Southern Africa, markets have been well supplied with maize in most countries of the region throughout the 2020/21 marketing year. Prices have generally increased seasonally since November 2020. In Zimbabwe, local production deficits coupled with deteriorating macroeconomic conditions have led to staple food shortages and persistently increasing food prices. South Africa has continued exporting to grain deficit countries. Zambia maintained a ban on formal maize exports but continued exporting maize grain and maize products through formal and informal channels.

    • In Central America, physical access to markets remains normal. Maize supply was average while bean supply decreased from hurricane-related losses. Maize prices followed seasonal trends while bean prices increased on average. In Haiti, staple food supplies were at average levels while prices were stable or increasing on average partly due to poor expectations for the winter harvest. The HTG appreciated marginally against the USD following Central Bank intervention.

    • In Central Asia, wheat prices were stable in Afghanistan and Kazakhstan but increased in Pakistan in January. Prices were generally above average. In Yemen, staple food prices were on average stable in January, with sharper increases observed in some southern areas. The broader conflict and macroeconomic context continued to disrupt overall market functioning and supported above-average staple food and fuel prices.

    • International staple food markets are well supplied. Rice, maize, wheat, and soybean prices increased in January due to tightening supply and firm demand. Global crude oil prices rose further in January due to expectations for a strong global economic recovery in 2021, while global fertilizer prices were stable or increasing.

    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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