Global Price Watch: August 2019 Prices (September 30, 2019)
In West Africa, 2019/20 crop production is expected to be average to favorable. Market supplies are currently decreasing, and demand is increasing seasonally, but at below-average levels due to substantial outstanding stocks. The ongoing lean season in the Sahel remains marked by atypical month-to-month decreases and, in some cases, stability in coarse grain prices, which are below both last year and average levels. On the other hand, above-average local and imported rice prices persist in most coastal countries. Disrupted trade activities and atypical market trends persist in insecurity-stricken Greater Lake Chad basin, Tibesti region, and Liptako-Gourma region. Furthermore, Nigeria has recently closed land borders to curb smuggling and banditry.
In East Africa, maize and sorghum prices declined or remained stable in August across Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and South Sudan. Sorghum prices increased seasonally at elevated levels at the peak of the lean season in Sudan. Maize prices increased in the main producing markets of Somalia in response to a second consecutive below-average season. Wheat flour prices were stable at elevated levels in Yemen. Livestock prices were stable with improved rangeland conditions during the ongoing June-to-November rainy season in many countries
In Southern Africa, maize supplies on major markets were at average to below-average levels in August. Maize grain prices exhibited mixed trends across the major markets in the region and are anticipated to increase atypically during the September to October period. The exception will be South Africa where prices will likely remain stable during this period. Maize grain was generally able to circulate between surplus and deficit areas, except for Zambia where export restrictions remain in place
In Central America, maize and bean market supplies remained sufficient region-wide in August with carryover stocks from the Postrera harvest and international imports. Month on month maize and bean price trends varied in line with seasonal trends, while maize prices remaining above average and bean prices below average. In Haiti, markets were adequately supplied with imported staple foods while supply of local staples was limited due to below-average Printemps harvests. Prices of both local and imported staple foods continue to be significantly above-average levels. The Haitian gourde was stable against the USD for the second consecutive month but maintains a 30 percent year-on-year depreciation.
Central Asia sustained adequate supplies and intraregional trade is expected to fill local wheat deficits within the region. Local wheat availability in Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, and Pakistan is expected to be at average levels. Wheat prices have been increasing but remain at average levels in Kazakhstan and are above average in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan
International staple food markets are well supplied. Maize, wheat and soybean prices decreased while rice prices were stable in August. Global crude oil decreased in August partly in response to declining global economic indicators while global fertilizer prices fell in August.