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March 2024 Global Price Watch

  • Price Watch
  • Global
  • March 31, 2024
March 2024 Global Price Watch

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In West Africa, staple food prices showed mixed trends in February. In the Sahel region, prices were stable or declined due to seasonal harvests but remained high due to supply constraints and high demand. Nigeria registered a record annual inflation rate driven by currency depreciation and the lasting effects of reduced fuel subsidies. Looking ahead, prices across the region are expected to rise in March and beyond as household stocks dwindle, demand for Ramadan increases, and transportation costs remain elevated.
    • In East Africa, staple food prices declined in most markets in February due to increased seasonal supplies. In Sudan, however, conflict and currency depreciation drove up marketing costs and increased prices for coarse grains. Regional livestock prices were mixed due to varying water and feed availability. Staple prices are expected to increase across the region due to the impacts of currency depreciation and elevated marketing costs. Livestock prices are expected to remain high, driven by increased demand for Ramadan.
    • In Southern Africa, staple grain prices increased in several major markets due to seasonal stock declines and high production costs. Zambia and Zimbabwe faced tight supplies and currency weakness, leading to maize price increases. Malawi and DRC, however, saw seasonal price drops for maize due to green harvest supply. Due to the anticipated impacts of the ongoing strong El Niño on maize harvests, seasonal price declines are expected to be muted. Due to higher import and energy costs, inflation will likely accelerate in the coming months.
    • In Central America, white maize prices were stable in February. Red bean prices declined for the second consecutive month supported by delayed postrera 2023 harvest and small volumes from the ongoing main season (apante). Black beans prices were stable as staggered and delayed postrera tardia harvest did not compensate for previous local production declines. In Haiti, violence intensified severely disrupting market operations and pressing prices upwards. In Venezuela, monthly inflation continued to ease and the VED marginally appreciated, supporting food price stability in local currency.
    • In Central Asia, the export prices of milling wheat in Kazakhstan were stable due to ample supply and declining global prices. The prices of both high -and low-quality rice, and wheat flour remained stable in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In Yemen, prices were stable in SBA-areas and mixed in IRG-areas where wheat flour prices were up six percent.
    • International staple food markets were sufficiently supplied. Global staple food prices remained relatively stable, despite external disruptions such as shipping delays and farmer protests in Europe. Export prices for wheat, maize, and soybeans continued to decrease, reaching their lowest point in the past two years. Although rice prices softened to reduced trade activity during the Lunar New Year holidays, they remained about a third higher than a year ago.

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    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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