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- In West Africa, market supplies improved throughout the region in December with the availability of local harvests. Production shortfalls in eastern Niger and northern Chad resulted in atypical price increases. Households in the region’s main cereal producing areas earned above-average cash crop incomes earlier in the year, leading to below-average grain marketing. Rice imports from international markets contributed food availability in coastal countries.
- In East Africa, sorghum prices increased atypically in parts of Sudan, South Sudan, and northern Uganda. Maize prices decreased in Kenya and southern Uganda with recent harvests, but increased in Somalia with the peak of the secondary November-to-January lean season. The effects of localized conflict, the devaluation of local currencies, and high levels of inflation reinforced upward price trends in some areas.
- In Southern Africa, maize prices were stable or increased as the lean season peaked. Prices remained above their respective 2012 and five-year average levels due to tight regional supplies, as well as strong export and institutional demand. Maize grain and meal prices continued to increase atypically in Zambia and Malawi. Rice, cassava, and beans reinforced food availability throughout the region.
- In Haiti, local black bean and maize prices were stable or decreased due to adequate food availability country-wide. In Central America, beans prices decreased in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala due to the availability of stocks from Postrera production in 2013. Maize prices were stable or decreased due to an average Primera harvest. Local and imported rice prices remained stable throughout the region.
- In Central Asia, wheat flour prices were stable in December due to ongoing above-average harvests and the availability of lower-priced imports from Kazakhstan.
- International rice prices remained stable or decreased in December 2013. Maize prices were stable as global stocks replenished. Wheat prices were stable after varying considerably earlier in the year due to concerns over production in the Black Sea states. Crude oil prices were stable.
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.