In West Africa, regional staple food production during the 2016/17 marketing year was similar to 2015/16 and well above average. International rice and wheat imports continue to support regional market supplies. Markets remained disrupted throughout the Lake Chad Basin. The depreciation of the Naira has led to price increases across Nigeria. A recent ban on Nigerian grain exports has had uneven impacts on trade flows along Nigeria’s long and porous borders.
In East Africa, staple food prices seasonally decreased or remained stable in Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, and Ethiopia with increased supplies from the ongoing harvests. Prices increased atypically and sharply in many areas of Somalia due to expectations of a second, consecutive below-average harvest January-to-February. Prices seasonally decreased in Yemen from ongoing harvests but markets remain significantly disrupted by insecurity.
In Southern Africa, regional maize availability is currently adequate, despite consecutive years of well-below average regional production. Maize prices are above their respective 2015 and five-year average levels region wide. As of December 2016, imports by South Africa and Zimbabwe from well-supplied international grain markets have offset nearly half of the regional deficit; maize export restrictions in Zambia remain in place. Price increases have been contained in Malawi by large volumes of humanitarian assistance and an increased role of ADMARC on market activities.
In Central America, maize and bean availability is at its peak with supplies reaching markets from both the Primera and Postrera harvests. Maize prices seasonally declined while bean prices were mixed. Hurricane Matthew destroyed crops and market infrastructure across much of southwestern Haiti. Market activities resumed in the major markets of Les Cayes and Jeremie. Imported commodity prices remain stable despite the depreciation of the Gourde.
In Central Asia, average regional harvests and above-average stocks sustained adequate supplies. Prices were below 2015 levels in Kazakhstan, above-average in Tajikistan, and near average in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
International staple food markets remain well supplied. Maize and rice prices increased, while wheat and soybean prices fell in December. Crude oil prices increased but remained well below average.