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Global Price Watch: August 2020 Prices (September 30, 2020)

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Situation Report
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Key Messages

  • In West Africa, market supplies were seasonally low in September during the lean season when household market reliance reaches its peak. Insecurity-related market disruptions persist in the Greater Lake Chad basin, the Tibesti region, and the Liptako-Gourma region. Coarse grain prices increased between July and August in the Sahel and were above average in areas experiencing deficit and trade flow disruptions. Food prices continued to increase atypically in Nigeria amidst reduced market supplies and macroeconomic downturn. Livestock market activities were below average throughout the region due to limited exports and/or insecurity, which has affected market access.

  • In East Africa, staple food price trends varied across the region. COVID-19 related movement restrictions continued to contribute to some atypical supply, demand, and price patterns. Maize prices declined in surplus-producing Uganda and Tanzania and in Kenya with the progression of May-to-August harvests and in a context of weak regional demand. Prices remained stable at elevated levels or increased seasonally in Ethiopia, South Sudan, Burundi, and Sudan as stocks tightened ahead of October-to-December harvests. Livestock prices remained stable at elevated levels due to good animal body conditions.

  • In Southern Africa, markets were well supplied with maize as the 2020/21 marketing year progressed in most countries of the region. Prices were stable or varied seasonally in many countries. South Africa continued exporting maize to structurally-deficit countries of the region, notably to Zimbabwe where local production deficits coupled with deteriorating macroeconomic conditions have led to persistently increasing prices. Zambia maintained a ban on formal maize exports but continued exporting via informal channels due to favorable prices in neighboring countries.

  • In Central America, maize and bean supplies were above average in August, supported by ongoing 2020 Primera season harvests as well as imports. Maize and bean prices were stable or decreasing on average. Bean prices exhibited mixed trends relative to 2019 levels. In Haiti, local and imported staple food supplies were at average to below-average levels in August. The Haitian gourde maintained relative stability against the USD.

  • In Central Asia, wheat prices were stable or decreasing on average in Afghanistan and Kazakhstan while wheat prices exhibited mixed trends in Pakistan. In Yemen, the broader conflict and macroeconomic context continued to disrupt overall market functioning and food access with staple food and fuel prices remaining above average.

  • International staple food markets are well supplied. Rice, wheat, and soybean prices were stable or increasing while maize prices exhibited mixed trends in August. Global crude oil prices increased further for a fourth consecutive month, although at a slower pace as economies continue to reopen. Global fertilizer prices similarly increased in August.