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January 2020 Global Price Watch

  • Price Watch
  • Global
  • January 31, 2020
January 2020 Global Price Watch

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In West Africa, market supplies increased with newly harvested grains and pulses at above-average levels and large carryover stocks. Month-to-month coarse grain prices in the Sahel decreased or remained stable at below-average levels. Above-average local and imported rice prices, however, persisted in several Coastal countries. Disrupted market functioning and trade activities continued in conflict-stricken Greater Lake Chad basin, Tibesti region, and Liptako-Gourma region. Nigeria’s land border closure had significant domestic and regional impacts, reducing domestic rice supplies and hindering trade with neighboring Benin and Niger.

    • In East Africa, maize prices increased seasonally in surplus-producing Tanzania, while extended rains have led to atypically rising prices in Uganda. Prices were stable in Kenya and Somalia as recent harvests arrived onto markets. Generalized inflationary pressure has led to rising prices in Sudan and South Sudan. Livestock prices were stable or increasing due to favorable rangeland conditions.

    • In Southern Africa, maize supplies on major markets were at average to below-average levels. Maize grain prices continued increasing with the progression of the 2019/20 lean season and will likely follow this trend, peaking in January or February. South Africa continued to supply maize to structurally-deficit countries of the region, while Zambia maintained restrictions on exports. Informal maize grain exports into Tanzania and destined for the East African market slowed due to decreasing local supplies. 

    • In Central America, markets were well supplied in December as the Postrera harvests progressed and with carryover stocks from the recent Primera harvest. While prices were stable or declined seasonally across the region relative to the previous month, maize prices remained above average while bean prices remained below average. In Haiti, after several weeks of civil unrest that disrupted market activities, market supplies improved in December. Prices were stable or declined relative to the previous month. After depreciating earlier in the year, the Haitian gourde was stable against the U.S. dollar. Imported commodity prices remain above average.

    • In Central Asia, wheat prices were near average in Kazakhstan and Afghanistan. Intensive exports by Pakistan earlier in the marketing have led to supply disruptions. Afghanistan maintained a below-average import gap that will be filled through intraregional trade.  In Yemen, the broader conflict and macroeconomic context continued to disrupt overall market functioning and food access. Wheat flour prices were stable at elevated levels.

    • International staple food markets are well supplied. In December rice and wheat prices were stable or increasing, and maize prices were stable or decreasing, while soybean prices were stable. Global crude oil prices increased amid expectations for better global economic conditions in 2020 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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