Global Price Watch: August 2018 Prices (September 30, 2018)
- In West Africa, the 2017/18 marketing year is in its last phase, the lean season, characterized by low supply and stock levels, while demand is at its highest level. Prices remained elevated at above-average levels. Nevertheless, early green harvests, release of stocks with good harvest prospects, and humanitarian efforts have stabilized, or slightly decreased prices compared to the previous month. Markets remain disrupted in the Greater Lake Chad basin, northern and central Mali, and the Liptako-Gourma region due to insecurity.
- In East Africa, markets remain severely affected by insecurity and significant macro-economic challenges in Yemen, South Sudan, and Sudan disrupting market supplies. The prices of staple grains declined seasonally with increased supply from the average harvest in Somalia and above average harvests in Tanzania and Uganda. Prices increased seasonally in Sudan and Ethiopia with the progression of the lean season and remained stable at very high levels in South Sudan.
- In Southern Africa, markets are relatively well supplied with maize despite below average 2018 harvest in areas that experienced dry spells earlier in the season. Maize prices were increasing in key reference markets and were generally above their 2017 levels. Maize grain is generally able to circulate between surplus and deficit areas without major trade restrictions within the region. Export parity prices remain competitive in South Africa and encouraged exports to international markets.
- In Central America, recent drought in the region led to speculation on markets. Maize and bean market supplies are supported by the current Primera harvest, carryover stocks, and imports. Maize prices increased atypically in August at above-average levels, while bean prices were stable or decreasing at below average levels. In Haiti, local maize grain and local black bean prices were stable or decreasing in key reference markets while imported rice and maize meal prices increased. The Haitian gourde depreciated further against the USD to well below average levels.
- Central Asia sustained adequate supplies and intraregional trade is expected to fill local wheat deficits within the region. Kazakhstan and Pakistan are expected to have above-average upcoming wheat harvests while Afghanistan is expected to have below-average wheat production. Wheat prices remained stable and below-average in Kazakhstan, the region’s largest exporter.
- International staple food markets remain well supplied. Maize, wheat and soybean prices rose while rice prices fell (Figure 2). Crude oil and global fertilizer prices increased in August and remain above their 2017 levels.