Skip to main content

January 2019 Global Price Watch

  • Price Watch
  • Global
  • January 31, 2019
January 2019 Global Price Watch

Download the Report

  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In West Africa, market supplies continued to increase in December with the progression of harvests. Coarse grain prices decreased seasonally month-to-month and remain below last year but near average. In contrast, rice prices remained elevated, especially in coastal countries where local currencies have recently depreciated and where inflation has increased. Markets activities remain disrupted and atypical price 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. Food and fuel prices declined in Yemen in December, driven by changes to import procedures and a reduction in the rate of depreciation of the local currency. Elsewhere, staple food price trends followed seasonal patterns across most markets in Eastern Africa and remained below average in Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya.

    • In Southern Africa, domestic maize supplies declined seasonally with the progression of the lean season. Maize grain prices increased seasonally and were significantly above their December 2017 levels. December 2018 prices were significantly higher than the five-year average in the DRC, Madagascar, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Maize grain was mostly able to circulate between surplus and deficit areas, except for Zambia where administrative restrictions on exports have reduced both formal and informal exports during the 2018/19 marketing year. Although export parity prices increased significantly in South Africa, the country continued to export to both regional and international markets.

    • In Central America, maize and bean market supplies are near average and supported by the ongoing Postrera harvest, carryover stocks, and imports. Maize prices were above-average and stable in December while bean prices were below-average to average and seasonally decreased or were stable in December. In Nicaragua, ongoing political tension continued to affect markets and trade dynamics, putting upward pressure on maize prices. In Haiti, local maize grain prices increased while local black bean prices fell in key reference markets. Imported rice prices were stable even as the Haitian gourde depreciated further against the USD.

    • Regional availability and price trends varied across Central Asia with the progression of the 2018/2019 marketing year (MY). Due to prolonged periods of dryness and below-average cumulative precipitation, wheat production is expected to be slightly less than the previous year, but near average. Regional wheat deficits are expected to be filled through intra-regional trade.

    • International staple food markets are well supplied. Rice, soybean, and wheat prices were firm while maize prices exhibited mixed trends in December (Figure 2). Crude oil prices fell for a second consecutive month to below average levels, while global fertilizer prices exhibited mixed trends in December.

    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.

    Get the latest food security updates in your inbox Sign up for emails

    The information provided on this Website is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government.

    Jump back to top