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March 2017 Global Price Watch

  • Price Watch
  • Global
  • March 30, 2017
March 2017 Global Price Watch

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  • Key Messages
  • Preface

  • Preface

    The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) monitors trends in staple food prices in countries at risk of food insecurity. The Price Watch provides an update on market and price trends in selected reference markets.  Specific trends for key reference markets and commodities are available in the Price Watch Annexes 1 and 2. FEWS NET gratefully acknowledges partner organizations, ministries of agriculture, national market information systems, the Regional Agricultural Intelligence Network, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP), and others for their assistance in providing price data.

    Key Messages
    • In West Africa, regional staple food production during the 2016/17 marketing year was well above average. International rice and wheat imports continue to support regional market supplies. Current market anomalies remain largely concentrated in the eastern marketing basin, including but not limited to: conflict-related market disruptions in the Lake Chad basin, localized above-average grain deficits in Niger, the impacts of the continued depreciation of the Naira, and the closure of the Libya-Chad border, which has limited imports of processed and manufactured goods.

    • In East Africa, prices remain well above-average in South Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen. Somalia is facing well below-average domestic production. Markets remain severely disrupted by insecurity in Yemen and South Sudan. Import capacity in Yemen is uncertain, and food availability may be constrained in the coming months. Staple food prices followed seasonal trends in Tanzania, Sudan, and Ethiopia, while increasing atypically in Uganda and Kenya.

    • In Southern Africa, regional maize availability improved in February, as the 2016/17 production season continued. Production prospects for the current season are good. This follows a year of very poor maize production, resulting in very large regional deficits. Maize imports by South Africa and Zimbabwe from well-supplied international grain markets have offset over half of the regional deficit. Maize prices are now below their respective 2016 levels, but remain above average region-wide. Prices continued to increase in February in flood-affected areas of southern Mozambique.

    • In Central America, maize and bean availability increased following the recent Postrera harvest and the start of the Apante harvest. Maize and bean prices were atypically stable or increasing across the region, with varied trends compared to average levels. In Haiti, markets are still recovering from the impact of Hurricane Matthew.  Local maize and bean prices remain above average levels in the major southwestern markets of Les Cayes and Jeremie. Imported commodity prices remain stable. 

    • In Central Asia, average regional harvests and above-average stocks sustained adequate supplies. Prices were below 2016 levels in Kazakhstan, above-average in Tajikistan, and near average in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    • International staple food markets remain well supplied. Rice, wheat, and soybean prices increased, while maize prices varied in February. Crude oil prices increased slightly but remain well below 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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