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January 2021 Global Price Watch

  • Price Watch
  • Global
  • January 29, 2021
January 2021 Global Price Watch

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In West Africa, market supplies increased across the region following recent harvests but remained below average in much of the eastern basin, notably Nigeria. Cross-border trade flows were dynamic but remained constrained by lingering COVID-19 restrictions. Conflict-related market disruptions persisted in the Greater Lake Chad basin, the Liptako-Gourma region, the Tibesti region, northwest and northcentral Nigeria, and the Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon. Staple food prices were stable or decreasing compared to the previous month in most markets but were above average in areas affected by deficits, insecurity, and supply chain and trade disruptions. Nigeria’s land borders, which had been closed to neighboring countries since August 2019, gradually began reopening in December 2020.

    • In East Africa, staple food prices continued to decline across much of the region with increased availability from October-to-January harvests. In Tanzania, prices continued to increase in many markets as stocks tightened before the May-to-August harvest. Livestock prices remained stable at already elevated levels due to good animal body conditions and the availability of water and feed in pastoral areas. COVID-19-related truck driver screenings continued to add cost to cross-border trade and contributed to border delays. Prices remained elevated in Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Burundi due to multiple contributing factors (e.g., currency depreciation, high inflation, and insecurity.

    • In Southern Africa, markets have been well supplied with maize in most countries of the region during the 2020/21 marketing year. Prices generally increased with the onset of the lean season. South Africa continued exporting maize to structurally-deficit countries of the region. In Zimbabwe, local production deficits coupled with deteriorating macroeconomic conditions have led to persistently increasing local prices and localized staple food shortages. Zambia maintained a ban on formal maize exports, but informal trade to neighboring countries continued.

    • In Central America, markets were recovering in December from the impact of Hurricanes Eta (October) and Iota (November), which resulted in crop losses and infrastructure damage. Maize and bean prices exhibited mixed trends. In Haiti, staple food supplies were at average levels in December. Local food prices were stable on average, while some imported food prices increased. The HTG depreciated moderately against the USD.

    • In Central Asia, wheat prices increased moderately in Kazakhstan, exhibited mixed trends in Pakistan, and were stable on average in Afghanistan. In Yemen, recent the U.S. FTO designation of Ansar Allah is expected to worsen the food security situation. Moreover, the broader conflict and macroeconomic context continued to disrupt overall market functioning and food access with staple food and fuel prices remaining at above-average levels.

    • International staple food markets are well supplied. Rice, maize, and soybean prices increased in December while wheat prices were stable. Global crude oil prices increased sharply in December on expectations for stronger global economic recovery in 2021, while global fertilizer prices exhibited mixed trends.

    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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