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Global Price Watch: August 2021 Prices (September 30, 2021)

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KEY MESSAGES

  • In West Africa, supplies continued to decrease during the lean season in August. Demand remained seasonally high and above average due to increased replenishment of stocks, though humanitarian assistance was reduced pressure in targeted zones. Staple food prices remained above the five-year average, especially in Nigeria. Conflict-related market disruptions were reported across parts of Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, and Cameroon. Cross-border trade remained below average due to lingering COVID-19 restrictions, harassment along corridors, transport costs, governmental restrictions, and insecurity-related disruptions (Page 3).

  • In East Africa, staple food prices followed seasonable but divergent trends. Prices declined in most markets in South Sudan due to the start of the greenbelt harvest and ongoing supply from the May-to-August harvest in Tanzania and Uganda. Prices remained stable in both Kenya as supplies from the July-to-September harvest started to enter markets and in Somalia due to the below-average harvest. Prices increased seasonably in Burundi and Ethiopia as supplies tightened, but price trends varied across Sudan. Livestock prices declined seasonably in most markets as the July-toAugust export season ended. Chronic poor macroeconomic conditions sustained elevated prices in Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Burundi, and Somalia (Page 4).

  • In Southern Africa, markets and the milling subsector are well-supplied, with maize following above-average production during the 2020/21 production year, except in Madagascar, where supply was below average. Intra-regional informal trade is below average due to domestic availability and limited import demand. Prices began increasing seasonally in August, trends that will persist through the lean season. Prices are lowest in Malawi and South Africa. South Africa has continued to export yellow maize to international markets while nearly half of white maize exports were regional. The region has benefitted from firm international commodity prices, supporting export earnings (Page 5).

  • In Central America, markets were well supplied and operating normally. Maize prices were stable or increased seasonally. Local bean and imported rice prices were similarly stable. In Haiti, local maize and black bean prices declined following spring harvests. Imported rice prices were stable while other imported staples continued to experience depreciation-induced price increases. Markets were disrupted following the earthquake in the Sud department (Page 6).

  • In Central Asia, wheat prices were stable in August but remained significantly above five-year average levels. Wheat prices in Kazakhstan were similar to 2020 levels, while prices were elevated relative to 2020 in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In Yemen, staple food prices remained significantly above average due to protracted conflict and persistent YER depreciation. Food and fuel price trends differed significantly between internationally recognized government (IRG) and Sana’a-based authorities (SBA) controlled areas (Page 7).

  • International staple food markets are well supplied. Rice, maize, and soybean prices decreased on average in August, while wheat prices exhibited mixed trends (Figure 2). Global crude oil prices were stable on expectations for market rebalancing during the second half of 2021, while global fertilizer prices were generally stable in August (Page 2).