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- In West Africa, 2013/14 grain harvests were near-average in the Sahel and trade flows and market supplies were average in May. Below-average production in Mauritania, eastern Niger, and northern Chad resulted in atypical price increases. Rice imports from international markets contributed food availability in coastal countries.
- In East Africa, sorghum prices continued to increase sharply in Sudan due to the effects of below-average production in 2013. Conflict continues to constrain trade flows in northern and eastern South Sudan, southern Somalia, and the Darfur and South Kordofan in states in Sudan. Maize prices declined in southern Tanzania due to improving local market supplies, but increased in Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, and Uganda with the progression of the lean season.
- In Southern Africa, the 2014/15 consumption year started with a sharp decline in staple food prices from April to May as harvests improved food availability region-wide. Regional cereal availability is expected to be between 10 and 15 percent above 2013/14 levels with sufficient production in the surplus-producing countries of South Africa, Zambia, and Tanzania to meet regional import requirements.
- In Haiti, staple food prices were stable due to adequate food availability countrywide following early local harvests. In Central America, red bean prices increased atypically from December through May in Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador due to a below-average Primera harvest and increased regional and export demand. Local and imported rice prices remained stable throughout the region. Global coffee prices increased by over 75 percent since December 2013 due to poor harvests prospects in key South American exporting countries.
- In Central Asia, wheat flour prices remained stable in May due to the availability of recent above-average harvests and the availability of imports from Kazakhstan and Pakistan.
- International rice prices remained stable in May 2014 (Figure 2). Maize prices were stable as global stocks replenished. Wheat prices were stable as global production prospects improved. The probability of an El Nino occurring in 2014 continues to rise, and could affect staple food production in key exporting countries in late 2014 and early 2015. Crude oil prices were stable.
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.