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January 2024 Global Price Watch

  • Price Watch
  • Global
  • January 31, 2024
January 2024 Global Price Watch

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  • Key Messages

  • Key Messages
    • In West Africa, staple food prices in December displayed mixed trends. While coarse grain prices stabilized or slightly decreased in some markets with recent harvests, others remained above average due to localized below-average production and ongoing trade restrictions. In Nigeria, inflation continues its upward trajectory, exacerbated by macroeconomic pressures and currency depreciation. From January onward, these trends are expected to persist, influenced by fluctuating market dynamics and geopolitical factors, potentially exacerbating food insecurity in vulnerable regions.
    • In East Africa, Staple food price trends were mixed. Prices increased atypically in Sudan due to conflict-related production, harvest, transport disruptions, and flood-related harvest delays in Somalia. Prices declined in monitored markets in Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, South Sudan, and Ethiopia due to increased supply from the October to December harvest. Livestock prices remained stable due to good rangeland conditions.
    • In Southern Africa, maize prices in December increased seasonally, reflecting decreased stock-to-use ratios and regional supply variances. With stable supplies, South Africa saw moderate price increases due to international demand, maintaining lower year-over-year prices. Conversely, countries like Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Malawi faced escalated prices driven by supply shortages, currency devaluation, and energy costs. The outlook for January anticipates further price increases during the lean season, influenced by delayed planting, harvest constraints, and regional demand dynamics amid ongoing economic and climatic challenges.
    • In Central America, an improved staple grain supply after the main harvests (primera and postrera) pushed wholesale white maize and red bean prices downward, while black beans remained stable. In Haiti, heightened insecurity constrained market operations and transportation, but food prices remained stable, supported by the recent staple grains harvest. In Venezuela, food prices were stable in VED and eased in USD, tracking exchange rate trends.
    • In Central Asia, the export price of low-quality wheat from Kazakhstan declined significantly, while the price of high-quality wheat increased in December 2023. Both high -and low-quality rice and wheat flour prices remained stable in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Prices were also stable in Yemen.
    • International markets were sufficiently supplied. Global rice, maize, and wheat prices increased attributed to robust demand, export restrictions, and concerns about the potential impact of El Niño on production in MY2023/24. In contrast, crude oil prices declined due to sluggish demand growth and increasing supply. Despite recent rises in input costs, fertilizer prices remained relatively firm, supported by rebounding demand and tight supplies. Overall, prices were below 2022 levels but above 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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