The Market Monitor - Trends and impacts of staple food prices in vulnerable countries, Issue 21 - October 2013
- The global cereal price index decreased by 19% on a year-on-year basis in the July-September 2013 quarter, driven by significant drops in nominal prices of maize (-22%), wheat (-13%) and rice (-11%). The price of maize persists on its downward trend while wheat prices are on an upward trend since late August.
- On a quarterly basis (Q3 vs. Q2 2013), global prices of maize, wheat and rice2 fell by 12%, 3%, and 6%, respectively. The marked price drop for maize is driven by the improved global stock-to-use ratio (+12% y/y). World maize and rice stocks are expected to increase further linked to a positive outlook for grain supplies in 2013/14 marketing year.
- Compared to the respective periods of price peaks in 2008, maize, wheat and rice prices are significantly lower. The rice price is half the 2008 level, while the wheat price has dropped by nearly a third.
- Price trends for most domestic markets mirror the global trend. The impact of domestic price changes on the food basket cost in the last quarter was low or moderate (<5%) in 64 out of 68 monitored countries. However, three countries experienced high (5-10%) price impacts, namely Bolivia,
Chad and Lao PDR. In Syria the price impact of monitored commodities is severe (>10%). The individual commodities driving these effects are wheat flour in Syria (+7.8%) and Bolivia (+5.7%), as well as sorghum in Chad (+5.4%) and rice in Laos (+5.1%).
- In Zimbabwe, food insecurity is likely to increase significantly during the next lean season due to poor maize production, much reduced food stocks, low import capacity and a slowdown in economic recovery.