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Staple prices decline across most of the region as demand for staple purchases decreases

  • Key Message Update
  • Southern Africa
  • June 2018
Staple prices decline across most of the region as demand for staple purchases decreases

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Food supplies from the 2018 harvest are improving the food security situation in most parts of the region and households are consuming their own-produced cereals and relying less on staple purchases. Most households are experiencing Minimal (IPC Phase 1) and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity outcomes during May and from June to September. Areas affected by earlier seasonal dryness in southern parts of Mozambique and  Madagascar are already experiencing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes, as well as three provinces affected by conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Tanganyika, Kassai, and Ituri). From June to September Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and the DRC.

    • As more households are beginning to consume food supplies from the 2018 harvest, prices for major staples, especially maize, are following typical seasonal trends and have started decreasing. In general, prices for maize grain in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe are below last year and about 20-33 percent below the five-year average. However, given the below-normal 2018 maize yields because of the erratic and poorly distributed rainfall, prices are expected to start to increase earlier than normal this consumption year since farming households are likely to begin relying on markets for food purchases earlier than normal.  

    • Ongoing harvests are providing labor opportunities, and this is allowing very poor and poor households to earn income for staple purchases. However, when compared to average these available opportunities are limited and competition among households for labor is high. In some areas the increased competition for labor will push down labor wage rates and earnings. Household purchasing power is likely to decline later in the consumption year once food prices begin to rise earlier than normal.  

    This Key Message Update provides a high-level analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography. Learn more here.

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