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May 2021 Global Price Watch

  • Price Watch
  • Global
  • May 28, 2021
May 2021 Global Price Watch

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In West Africa, market supplies decreased seasonally in April and remained below average in several countries. Insecurity-related market disruptions persist in the Greater Lake Chad basin, the Liptako-Gourma, northwest and north-central Nigeria, northwestern and southwestern Cameroon, parts of Mali’s Office du Niger, and in Chad. Trade flows remain affected by COVID-19 restrictions. Household and institutional purchases increased seasonally, while market demand remains above average in the eastern basin. Prices were stable or increasing compared to the previous month, but above average in general in the region – especially in Nigeria. Atypical industrial demand in the face of below-average supply further pushed up maize prices.

    • In East Africa, staple food price trends varied in April. Prices remained stable due to ample supplies In most markets across South Sudan, Burundi, and Kenya. Maize prices increased in central and northern Tanzania, in the main producing areas of Somalia, and across southern and southeastern Ethiopia as supplies tightened. Sorghum prices remained stable in most markets in South Sudan, Somalia, and northeastern Amhara and Tigray region of Ethiopia due to ample supplies. Sorghum price trends varied in Sudan, declining in the main producing markets due to increased supply while increasing in the consumption markets due to increased demand. Livestock prices varied depending on local rangeland conditions. Currency depreciation and high inflation sustained high prices in several countries.

    • In Southern Africa, April marked the transition to the 2021/22 marketing year. Favorable growing conditions led to above 2020/21 and above-average production across much of the region, except for localized areas of southwestern Angola, north-eastern Mozambique, and central Madagascar. Opening maize stocks are historically low, particularly in net-importing countries. However, aggregate national maize harvests are expected to be average to above-average except in Madagascar where they will be below average. Prices continued declining across much of the region in April. Maize grain prices were generally lower than 2020 levels but remained above average. 

    • In Central America, markets are adequately supplied and operating normally. Maize prices increased seasonally in April. Bean prices were stable or increasing seasonally, while rice prices remained stable. In Haiti, markets are well supplied with local and imported staple foods. Local yellow maize and black bean prices increased seasonally, while imported rice prices rose moderately.

    • In Central Asia, wheat prices were stable or increased moderately in April but remain significantly above-average levels. In Yemen, the economy continues to be impacted by foreign currency shortages and the depreciation of the local currency due to protracted conflict. Staple food prices remained well above 2020 levels.

    • International staple food markets are well supplied. Rice and wheat prices were stable or decreasing, while maize and soybean prices were stable or increasing on average in April. Global crude oil prices were stable, while global fertilizer prices exhibited mixed trends in April.

    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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