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A significant drop in cotton prices could further push up local cereal prices

  • Key Message Update
  • West Africa
  • October 2022
A significant drop in cotton prices could further push up local cereal prices

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Harvests are underway in Sahelian countries, improving household food supplies. Pending the PREGEC meeting's forecast of the 2022/23 harvests in November, the latest assessment made in August indicates that cereal production in the region would be between -2 and +7 percent compared to the average. But the combined effect of reduced access to agricultural inputs, notably fertilizer, reductions in area sown as a result of insecurity/armed conflict, more-than-normal pest attacks in some areas of Niger and Mali, and flood damage to crops in several areas of Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Mali and Chad is likely to reduce anticipated harvest levels.

    • Since August, unprecedented infestations of cotton leafhoppers in Mali, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Senegal, Benin and Togo have threatened to reduce cotton production by 30-40 percent compared with the average. Considering the importance of cotton as a source of income for many households, and for the local processing of seeds for oil production and livestock feed, there are serious concerns about the loss of substantial resources and a rise in the price of maize, which cotton growers are the main producers of through the cotton-maize rotation. The availability of water is an opportunity for households to intensify their dry season cultivation, and could lead to above-average production. However, such activity will remain limited in the conflict-ridden and insecure areas of the Lake Chad Basin, Liptako Gourma and north-western Nigeria, where access to natural resources remains severely disrupted.

    • Overall, prices remain well above the five-year average in the region. However, a seasonal downward trend in commodity prices was observed in connection with the main harvests. On the other hand, prices have strengthened, particularly in conflict- and flood-affected areas of the Sahel, where market access has been severely hampered. In the Sahel, high prices were due to below-average stocks, strong demand for restocking and persistent insecurity, among other factors. In coastal countries, prices were driven mainly by strong export demand, a sharp rise in supply costs associated with high fuel and fertilizer prices, and currency depreciation. With low carryover stocks, expected production shortfalls in some parts of the region linked to fertilizer shortages and flooding, and persistently high global food prices, prices in regional markets will remain above average.

    • The majority of food-insecure areas are Stressed (IPC Phase 2), improving to Minimal (IPC Phase 1) from October onwards with the new harvests. With civil insecurity affecting the regions of Diffa, southern Maradi in Niger and the Lac region in Chad , Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes will continue until January 2023, with food assistance. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes which are currently affecting the Yagha and Séno provinces in Burkina Faso, the north and west of the Tahoua and Tillabéri regions in Niger, the states of Borno, Yobé, Adamawa, Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, Niger and Kaduna in Nigeria, the Ménaka area in Mali and the north and west of the North-West and South-West regions in Cameroon, will persist until January 2023. From November onwards, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes will affect the two above-mentioned regions of Cameroon.

    • In areas affected by Crisis (IPC Phase 3), the food security situation will improve to Stressed (IPC Phase 2)  in October due to the arrival of the new harvests In several areas, this improvement  will affect the provinces of Bam, Sanmatenga, Namentenga, Gnagna, Komondjari, Gourma, Yatenga, Lorum , Kossi and Sourou in Burkina Faso, the regions of Kanem, Bar el Gazel, Wadi Fira, the west of Hadjer Lamis and the east of Batha in Chad, the north and west of the Far North region in Cameroon, east of the Mopti region and south of Gao in Mali, and locally in the northern states of Nigeria. In the provinces of Soum (Sahel region), Oudalan and the north of the North and Centre Nord regions in Burkina Faso, and in the north and west of Borno in Nigeria, Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food insecurity as a result of armed conflict will persist until January 2023, although the severity of the situation in the west and part of northern Borno will lessen towards Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

    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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