Markets are a vital source of food and income for people around the world. Access to markets is particularly important for a majority of poor and very poor households that do not produce enough food to meet their own needs. For these households, market purchases provide a significant percentage of their total food consumed, while market sales provide a means to generate critical cash income. The production, trade, and distribution systems that supply markets across the globe largely determine food prices and availability.
As such, monitoring markets, trade, and price trends and anticipating related shocks is critical to the success of FEWS NET’s integrated food security analysis.
M&T-related shocks are commonly experienced hazards that impact locally-relevant essential food and income sources, which can affect food availability, access, and stability. FEWS NET regularly monitors market prices, staple food production, macroeconomic indicators, trade policies, and shocks that affect market operations and trade. FEWS NET also develops market and price projections of M&T-related shocks (e.g., their nature, location, and magnitude) to anticipate potential market outcomes and understand their potential impact on food security.
FEWS NET integrates these M&T monitoring data into its scenario development process – the methodology FEWS NET uses to analyze and project future acute food insecurity outcomes and, ultimately, inform humanitarian response to food crises.
FEWS NET produces the signature M&T products listed below with price data provided from partner organizations, ministries of agriculture, national market information systems, the Regional Agricultural Intelligence Network, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, and the World Food Programme (WFP), among others.
FEWS NET’s Price Bulletins are produced monthly and are available by country and region. This product tracks prices of key staple commodities.
FEWS NET’s Global Price Watch report offers a monthly update and outlook of global, regional, and national market trends of key commodity prices in FEWS NET-monitored countries and also analyzes the various drivers influencing these trends. The accompanying Price Watch Annex details specific trends for select key reference markets and commodities by country.
FEWS NET’s Cross-Border Trade reports offer a periodic summary of formal and informal trade flow patterns across select countries in a region. These reports primarily focus on the exchange of food commodities at select key border points within a country/region.
FEWS NET's Supply and Market Outlook reports summarize regional staple food availability, surpluses, and deficits during the current marketing year. Additionally, these reports provide an overview of projected regional market trends and their impacts on market outcomes, and recommend key market indicators to monitor in the next marketing year. The accompanying Annexes offer price and supply projections for key staple commodities in select reference markets.
FEWS NET’s Enhanced Market Analysis reports present historic research findings from USAID-commissioned studies that provide an evidence base to inform response analysis in selected countries. These include but are not limited to Congressional-mandated Bellmon Analysis, assessments that U.S.-provided non-emergency food assistance will not cause local production and marketing disincentives and that there is adequate capacity for the safe storage of U.S. food assistance upon arrival.
FEWS NET’s Market Fundamentals reports provide historic overviews of staple food, cash crop, livestock, and/or labor marketing systems in a given FEWS NET-monitored country. These reports aim to inform regular market monitoring and analysis planning to support FEWS NET’s integrated food security analysis in a given country.
FEWS NET’s Production and Trade Flow Maps capture the geography of market systems for a commodity in a given country or region, including its catchments (e.g., key market towns and cross-border trade points) and trade flow patterns.
Monthly staple food price data collected by FEWS NET since 1995.
All historical cross-border trade data for East and Southern Africa that are available to the public.