• A February 2013 FEWS NET West Africa Alert raised concerns that prices could increase atypically during the April-to-September period given conflict and flood-related market disruptions in Nigeria. Subsequent market behavior has followed expected trends, as indicted in a May 2013 Special Report. FEWS NET participated in a joint market assessment in June 2013 to better understand staple food market behavior and stock levels, as well as their implications for acute food security outcomes.
• Despite high food prices in Nigeria and border areas of neighboring countries, private traders in the marketing system appear to have responded effectively to this year’s atypical conditions. Burkina Faso played a more prominent role in supplying structurally-deficit areas of western Niger than previously anticipated. Despite these increased trade flows, there have been no impacts on local price levels in Burkina Faso due to the availability of stocks from above-average 2012 production.
• FEWS NET expects prices to be below their respective 2012 levels through December 2013 in areas of West Africa with good 2013/14 production prospects and above-average carryover stocks. The opposite is true in areas that continue to be directly affected by conflict in Nigeria and areas with below-average carryover stocks.
• Conflict in northeastern Nigeria continues to disrupt local and cross-border staple food and livestock markets. Atypically high cereal prices are negatively affecting household purchasing power during the lean season (June – September). Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security outcomes are currently present in Borno and Yobe states of Nigeria. Neighboring areas of Niger (Diffa) are experiencing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes.
• Higher-than-average income levels earned by poor households in northwestern Nigeria and western and central Niger during the 2012/13 consumption year have offset the effects of abnormally high staple food prices. Above-average cash crop production and price levels in late 2012 have played a particularly important role in absorbing price increases and maintaining Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity in these areas.