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March 2020 Global Price Watch

  • Price Watch
  • Global
  • March 31, 2020
March 2020 Global Price Watch

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In West Africa, market supplies were above average and increasing seasonally. Demand remained below average given remaining household stocks. Staple food and livestock market disruptions persisted in the Greater Lake Chad basin, the Tibesti region, and the Liptako-Gourma region. Locally produced staple prices were below average across the region, except in deficit areas and/or areas experiencing atypical market functioning. In contrast, both local and imported rice prices were above average in coastal countries.

    • In East Africa, staple food price trends varied, declining seasonally in Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, and Ethiopia with supplies from recent harvests. Prices increased atypically in southern Somalia due to localized flooding and in Sudan due to below-average production. Prices remained above average in many areas due to persistently high inflation and foreign exchange depreciation. Livestock prices remained stable at elevated levels and increased in some areas because of good rangeland conditions stemming from off-season rainfall.

    • In Southern Africa, maize supplies on major markets were at average to below-average levels. Maize grain prices continued increasing with the progression of the 2019/20 lean season and remained well above average. South Africa continued to supply maize to structurally-deficit countries of the region, while Zambia maintained a formal ban on maize exports. Informal exports continued between Zambia and Malawi as well as the DRC.

    • In Central America, maize and beans supplies were average. Markets were being supplied with beans from the Postrera harvest and maize carryover stocks from the main Primera harvest. Maize and beans prices followed seasonal trends in February, with maize remaining above average while bean prices remained below average. In Haiti, markets were adequately supplied with local and imported staple foods following the easing of civil unrest across the country. Staple food prices were stable month to month but remained above February 2019 and 5-average levels.

    • In Central Asia, wheat prices increased moderately in Kazakhstan but were stable or falling in Pakistan and Afghanistan. In Yemen, the broader conflict and macroeconomic context continued to disrupt overall market functioning and food access. Staple food prices remained above average.

    • International staple food markets are well supplied. Rice prices were stable or increasing while wheat, maize, and soybean prices were stable or decreasing. Global crude oil prices fell on expectations for a downturn in global economic activity. Fertilizer prices also declined 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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