Global May 2014 Price Watch and Annex
In West Africa, 2013/14 grain harvests were near-average in the Sahel and trade flows and market supplies were average in March. Below-average production in Mauritania, eastern Niger, and northern Chad resulted in atypical price increases. Rice imports from international markets contributed food availability in coastal countries (Pages 3-5).
In East Africa, sorghum prices continued to increase sharply in Sudan due to the effects of below-average production in 2013. Conflict and insecurity continued to constrain trade flows in northern and eastern South Sudan, southern Somalia, and the Darfur and South Kordofan in states in Sudan. Maize prices declined in Rwanda and Tanzania due to improving local market supplies, but increased in Uganda with the progression of the lean season (Pages 6-9).
In Southern Africa, the 2013/14 maize marketing year drew to a close in April and food prices began declining throughout the region. Prices are expected to continue declining until the end of the harvest in June/July and are expected to fall below their respective 2013 levels due to improved harvest prospects in 2014, but remain close to their respective five-year average levels due to consecutive years of tight regional supplies, as well as strong export and institutional demand. Rice, cassava, and beans reinforced food availability region-wide (Pages 9-12).
In Haiti, staple food prices were stable due to adequate food availability countrywide. In Central America, red bean prices increased atypically from December through April in Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador due to below-average Primera harvest and increased regional and export demand. Local and imported rice prices remained stable throughout the region. Global coffee prices increased by over 50 percent since December 2013 (Pages 12-14).
In Central Asia, wheat flour prices remained stable in April due to the availability recent above-average harvests and the availability of imports from Kazakhstan and Pakistan (Pages 14-16).
International rice prices remained stable in April 2014 after declining earlier in the year (Figure 2). Maize prices were stable as global stocks replenished. Wheat prices varied considerably in March due to concerns over dry growing conditions during the U.S. winter season and the effects of political disruptions in Ukraine. Crude oil prices were stable (Pages 2-3).