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January 2023 Global Price Watch

  • Price Watch
  • Global
  • January 31, 2023
January 2023 Global Price Watch

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In West Africa, prices decreased seasonally as harvests increased supply and lessened households' market dependence. Nevertheless, abnormal price increases persisted in areas affected by insecurity and Ghana, in particular, because of macroeconomic challenges. Overall, prices remain well above average in the region due to low carryover stocks, restrictions or bans on cereal exports, and insecurity in the Sahel; strong demand, elevated international food and fuel prices, high incurred production costs, and currency depreciation in the coastal countries of the Gulf of Guinea.

    • In East Africa, staple commodities prices were stable or declined across most markets due to increased supplies from the October-to-January harvest, supported by cross-border trade, humanitarian supplies, and reduced conflict related disruptions in northern Ethiopia and parts of Somalia. Food prices remained elevated and drove high inflation. Livestock prices varied in the region due to variances in rangeland conditions (Page 4).

    • In Southern Africa, maize prices increased seasonally across most markets and remained above the previous year and five-year averages due to declining stock-to-use ratios and strong export demand to East Africa. Despite relative stability in international commodity markets, persistent inflation continued at high levels across the region, driven by domestic currency depreciations, foreign exchange shortages, and large current account deficits. Maize prices are expected to follow typical seasonal trends, peaking in February before stabilizing in March and declining in April as harvests commence.

    • In Central America, stable market supply in December was driven by local and imported staple food availability. White maize supply was stable due to carryover stocks and imports. Bean stocks increased seasonally as the postrera harvest reached markets. Imported rice supply was average but supplies of local varieties were below-average due to declining regional production. In Haiti, security conditions mildly improved in December, resulting in improved market function. Staple prices were stable in most markets as supplies were better able to reach urban hubs but remain well above average. 

    • In Central Asia, wheat flour prices were stable in Afghanistan and Uzbekistan, with a slight increase of seven percent in the national average price in Pakistan. In Yemen, diesel fuel prices decreased in IRG areas for a fifth consecutive month, contributing to falling food commodity prices. In SBA-controlled areas, the Ministry of Trade and Industry instituted price ceilings in December, though price trends were mixed in the region.

    • International staple food markets were sufficiently supplied. Global staple food prices decreased (except rice), and oil and fertilizer prices decreased due to lower seasonal demand, a strengthening U.S. dollar, and global economic growth expectations. However, prices remain above 2021 and the five-year average.

    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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