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March 2018 Global Price Watch

  • Price Watch
  • Global
  • March 30, 2018
March 2018 Global Price Watch

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In West Africa, markets are adequately supplied in the months following the main harvest. However, market supplies are below average in several countries due to localized deficits and stock retention. Demand is picking up as household stocks begin to deplete and with ongoing institutional purchases. Local grain prices were stable in most countries but remained above average and are expected to remain so through to the lean season. Regional livestock markets remain affected by a general lack of pasture and reduced Nigerian import demand.

    • In East Africa, markets remain severely disrupted by insecurity and significant macro-economic issues in Yemen and South Sudan, impeding staple food supply access and putting upward pressure on prices. Staple food prices varied across the region. While prices generally followed seasonal trends in Uganda, Kenya, and Somalia, atypical price trends were observed in Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Tanzania.

    • In Southern Africa, maize supplies continue to tighten in maize deficit countries but remain above average in surplus producing South Africa and Zambia. Maize prices are exhibiting mixed trends as the lean season peaks but are below average for most of the region except for Madagascar and parts of eastern DRC. Export parity prices remain competitive, encouraging exports to East Africa (from Zambia and South Africa) and international markets (from South Africa).

    • In Central America, maize and bean availability remained high with supplies from the ongoing average to above-average Postrera harvest. While maize prices remain below average across the region, bean prices varied, remaining high in Honduras as a result of lingering effects of uncertainty and transport disruptions following political tensions. In Haiti, local and imported staple food prices were firm and decreasing across key reference markets, underpinned by ongoing harvests of key substitutes such as tubers. The Haitian gourde depreciated further against the USD.

    • Central Asia sustained adequate supplies and intra-regional trade is expected to fill regional wheat deficits. Kazakhstan and Pakistan are expected to have above-average wheat harvests in MY 2017/18. Wheat prices remained stable though are below-average in the region’s largest exporter, Kazakhstan.

    • International staple food markets remain well supplied. Rice and soybean prices rose in January, while maize and wheat prices were mixed. Crude oil prices fell for the first time in seven months despite declining global petroleum inventories.

    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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