Price Watch

May 2015 Price Watch

May 2015

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

Key Messages

  • In West Africa, market availability was adequate in April, with supplies from recent 2014/15 harvests and international rice and wheat imports.  Staple food prices were stable or declining, except in areas directly and indirectly affected by the conflict in northeastern Nigeria. The recent opening of borders among Ebola-affected countries contributed to improved trade flows in some areas, following disruptions over the second half of 2014.

  • In East Africa, maize prices increased seasonally in surplus-producing Uganda and Tanzania, and in neighboring Kenya. Maize prices remained stable or began increasing in Somalia and Ethiopia, following seasonal trends, and market supplies tightened.  Markets were likewise well-supplied within Somalia, Sudan, and Ethiopia. Staple food prices were high and variable in the Greater Upper Nile States of South Sudan. Conflict and insecurity continued to disrupt markets in parts of South Sudan, Somalia, and the Darfur and South Kordofan States in Sudan. 

  • In Southern Africa, the 2015 harvests set in during the month of April in South Africa, Zambia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, improving local staple food market supplies and putting downward pressure on prices. However, market supplies continued tightening in Malawi as green harvests (which normally appear as early as March) were not yet available and prices continued increasing in April in some areas. Maize prices were generally similar to their respective 2014 levels but higher than their respective five-year average levels region-wide. 

  • Staple food availability remained generally adequate to meet local needs throughout Central America and Haiti. However, market supplies were below-average in Haiti due to the effects of a recent below-average Otoño harvest (October – December) and high seed demand for planting, causing atypical price increases for black beans. Maize, red bean, and black bean prices were stable in Central America due to the availability of supplies from the Postrera and Postrera Tardia harvest in Honduras and El Salvador. Market supplies were likewise supported in Guatemala with recent harvests from and the Northern Transversal Strip as well as imports from Mexico. Regionally-produced staple food prices remained significantly above their respective 2014 and five-year average levels throughout Central America. 

  • In Central Asia, wheat availability remained good in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Prices remained stable in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan after increasing over the last quarter of 2014.

  • International maize, rice, wheat, and soybean prices were stable and below their respective 2014 levels due to very well-supplied global markets from record or near-record global production in 2014. Crude oil prices increased in April 2015 after declining considerably during the second half of 2014.  

About Price Watch

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.

About FEWS NET

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on approximately 30 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, USGS, and CHC-UCSB, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica. Read more about our work.

Link to United States Agency for International Development (USAID)Link to the United States Geological Survey's (USGS) FEWS NET Data PortalLink to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Link to National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Earth ObservatoryLink to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service, Climage Prediction CenterLink to the Climate Hazards Center - UC Santa BarbaraLink to KimetricaLink to Chemonics