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March 2019 Global Price Watch

  • Price Watch
  • Global
  • March 31, 2019
March 2019 Global Price Watch

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In West Africa, market supplies are sufficient and regular. Demand is at a seasonal low, with below-average levels in several countries due to increased household stocks and reduced institutional purchases. Coarse grain prices in the Sahel are decreasing or stable compared to the previous month, below last year but near the previous five-year average. Above-average rice prices continued in coastal countries due to currency depreciation and inflation. Disrupted trade activities and atypical market trends persist in insecurity-stricken Greater Lake Chad basin, Tibesti region, northern and central Mali, and Liptako-Gourma region.

    • In East Africa, markets remain severely affected by insecurity and significant macro-economic challenges in Yemen, South Sudan, and Sudan, resulting in significantly above average prices. The prices of most staple grains increased seasonably in surplus-producing areas due to increased demand in.consumption markets. Livestock prices started to decline along with rangeland conditions during the dry period in parts of Uganda, Kenya, and Somalia.

    • In Southern Africa, domestic maize supplies continued declining seasonally as the peak lean season period progressed. Maize grain prices were stable or increasing in key reference markets except for South Africa where export parity prices fell after increasing for three consecutive months. Maize grain was generally able to circulate between surplus and deficit areas, except for Zambia where administrative restrictions on exports have reduced both formal and informal exports during the 2018/19 marketing year.

    • In Central America, maize and bean market supplies remained sufficient but began to decline following the conclusion of the recent Postrera harvest. Carryover stocks and imports also contributed to supplies. Maize and bean price trends varied in February. In Nicaragua, ongoing political tension continued to affect markets and trade dynamics while recent tax reforms may be further contributing to some uncertainty and reactions on markets (FAO). In Haiti, local and imported staple food prices increased significantly as market functionality was severely disrupted from political upheavals early in February. The Haitian gourde depreciated an estimated 6 percent against the USD in month to month terms.

    • Regional availability and price trends varied considerably across Central Asia with the progression of the marketing year (MY). Despite prolonged periods of dryness and below-average cumulative precipitation, wheat production is expected to be slightly less than the previous year but almost equal to the five-year average. Regional wheat deficits are expected to be filled through intra-regional trade.

    • International staple food markets are well supplied. Maize and wheat prices were stable, while rice and soybean prices decreased. Global crude oil prices increased for a second consecutive month, while global fertilizer prices fell in February.

    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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