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May 2024 Global Price Watch

  • Price Watch
  • Global
  • May 31, 2024
May 2024 Global Price Watch

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In West Africa, cereal prices were stable or increasing from March to April, driven by the seasonal depletion of household stocks. Prices remained above their five-year average due to below-average supplies, limited stocks, increased production costs, insecurity, and trade restrictions. Prices rose above the previous year’s levels in Niger and in parts of Chad. In Nigeria, general inflation rose to 33.69 percent amid depreciation of the naira and hikes in fuel prices. Prices are expected to remain above average across the region through the end of the lean season.
    • In East Africa, seasonal tightening of supplies in April drove up staple food prices in Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Somalia. Early harvests in Burundi and Tanzania stabilized or slightly decreased prices. High carryover stocks from the previous season's above-average harvests kept prices lower year-over-year in most markets. However, elevated production costs kept staple prices high across the region. Improved rangeland conditions resulted in better livestock body conditions and increased prices.
    • In Southern Africa, maize prices in April were mixed across markets due to the varying effects of severe drought and floods. Malawi experienced seasonal price declines due to recent harvests, while Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa saw sharp price increases driven by tight supplies and strong export demand. Persistent floods in DRC, Tanzania, Angola, and northern Zambia damaged infrastructure and livelihoods, exacerbating the economic downturn. Drought and below-average maize supplies are expected to drive prices upwards, and ad hoc trade bans may worsen price spikes in deficit markets.
    • In Central America, imports and carryover stocks from the 2023–2024 market year supported an average maize grain supply. White maize wholesale and retail prices were stable, except for in Nicaragua, where lower yields drove prices upwards. Red bean prices increased following seasonal trends, while black bean prices were stable. In Haiti, local and imported food prices were stable despite ongoing insecurity. In Venezuela, food prices were stable due to local currency but remained above average.
    • In the Middle East and Asia, the export price of milling wheat in Kazakhstan remained unchanged from the previous month, as did the retail price of wheat flour in Afghanistan and Yemen. In Pakistan, the prices of wheat and wheat flour declined, while the price of rice remained stable.
    •  In April, international staple food markets were well supplied. Global staple food prices decreased or were stable due to recent harvests, improved production prospects, and subdued demand. However, global crude oil prices rose amid rising geopolitical tensions between Iran and Israel, while fertilizer prices remained stable. The fertilizer outlook predicts lower demand in the coming months due to the seasonal slowdown in the Northern Hemisphere.

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    Recommended citation: FEWS NET. Global Price Watch May 31, 2024: May 2024 Global Price Watch, 2024.

    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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