Price Watch: March 2013 Prices
In West Africa, flood-related crop losses and the effects of civil insecurity have disrupted agricultural marketing systems in Northern Nigeria. This resulted in atypical price trends in Northern Nigeria and border areas of neighboring countries in March. Elsewhere in the region, staple food prices remained stable in March due to the availability of sufficient supplies across most of the region after recent harvests, continued trade flows between surplus and deficit zones, and off-season crops. Cereal prices were stable or started to increase in most structurally-deficit areas following seasonal trends. Cereals trade flows increased into northern Mali from the south and neighboring countries, resulting in staple food price decreases on reference markets (Pages 3-5).
In East Africa, staple food prices were stable or continued to decline seasonally in most markets in March due to adequate household staple food availability and market stocks from recent harvests. Cereals prices increased atypically in some areas of Sudan, South Sudan, and Kenya due to a combination of conflict-related trade disruptions, flooding along marketing corridors, and high inflation. Cereal prices increased in Ethiopia and Somalia due to declining grain supply following seasonal trends (Pages 6-8).
In Southern Africa, staple food prices began to stabilize on some markets with the start of the green harvests. Tight regional supplies due to localized production shortfalls and strong export demand maintained upward pressure on prices. In Malawi, macro-economic instability and high marketing costs further contributed to atypical prices increases countrywide. Concerns over recent dry spells in maize producing areas of South Africa contributed to SAFEX price increases for both white and yellow maize (Pages 9-12).
In Haiti, staple food prices were generally stable in March. Black bean prices increased on some markets due to low supplies following last year’s production shortfalls. In Central America, black and red beans prices were stable in March, while maize prices continued to increase seasonally (Pages 12-13).
In Afghanistan and Tajikistan, wheat grain and flour prices were high but stable in March (Page 14).
International rice prices remained stable in March. Maize and wheat prices remained stable at high levels. Global supplies remain tight, but prospects for upcoming harvests are favorable in key exporting countries (Figure 2). Crude oil prices decreased moderately due to continued uncertainty about the recovery of both the U