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May 2018 Global Price Watch

  • Price Watch
  • Global
  • May 31, 2018
May 2018 Global Price Watch

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In West Africa, markets are sufficiently supplied, but seasonally decreasing at below average levels. Demand remained above average and is increasing with depleting household stocks, institutional purchases, and Ramadan approaching. Staple food prices are stable or increasing across countries but are above average in general and will remain so through to the lean season. The pastoral situation is marked by below average fodder availability, reduced exports to Nigeria, and below average prices. 

      • In East Africa, markets remain severely disrupted by insecurity and significant macro-economic challenges in Yemen and South Sudan, impeding staple food supply and putting persistent upward pressure on prices. Staple food price trends varied across the region. Unseasonably stable or declining staple food prices were supported by ample supplies in Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, and surplus-producing areas of Somalia. Prices increased in Sudan due to the recent devaluation of the currency and removal of wheat price subsidies. Atypically stable prices in localized areas of Ethiopia and Somalia were attributed to ongoing food assistance programs.

      • In Southern Africa, maize supply improved seasonally as the main 2018/19 harvest began across most of the region. Maize prices were stable or decreasing in key reference markets and remained below their respective 2017 and five-year average levels, except in parts of Madagascar and eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Maize grain is able to circulate between surplus and deficit areas without major trade restrictions. 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 availability continued to decrease seasonally in April, while bean supplies were supported by the recent Apante harvests. Maize and bean prices are below-average to average in El Salvador and Guatemala, average to above average in Honduras, and above average in Nicaragua. In Haiti, staple food availability remained adequate as the lean season progressed. Local maize and black beans prices were stable. Imported rice prices increased to above average levels owing to rising global rice prices. The Haitian gourde depreciated moderately against the USD. 

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

      • International staple food markets remain well supplied. Rice and maize prices increased while wheat and soybean prices were stable. Crude oil prices rose to their highest levels since 2014.

    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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