International cereal prices remained under downward pressure in March. Overall, quotations were well below their year-earlier levels reflecting ample global supplies.
Fluctuations in the exchange rates in March continued to influence cereal price changes in importing and exporting countries of CIS and South America. Weakening national currencies continued to push cereal prices to record levels in several countries or prevent significant price declines, while appreciating currencies put downward pressure on prices.
In regional exporter South Africa, maize prices continued to increase in March, although at a slower rate, supported by an anticipated sharply reduced 2015 production.
In Central America, prices of staples white maize and red beans lingered well above their year-earlier levels reflecting consecutive reduced harvests.
In countries affected by the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, prices of local and imported rice continued to remain mostly stable, driven by increased supplies from the 2014 harvests combined with subdued demand due to the impact of Ebola on economic activities and income.