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Global Price Watch: February 2015 Prices (March 31, 2015)

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In West Africa, market availability was adequate in February, with supplies from recent 2014/15 harvests and international rice and wheat imports. Staple food prices were stable or declining, except in areas directly and indirectly affected by the conflict in northeastern Nigeria. The recent opening of borders among Ebola-affected countries contributed to improved trade flows in some areas, following disruptions over the second half of 2014.

In East Africa, maize markets were well-supplies decline in Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia, and surplus-producing areas of Ethiopia with recent harvests and regional trade flows. Markets were likewise well supplied with in Somalia, Sudan, and Ethiopia. Staple food prices were high and variable in the Greater Upper Nile States of South Sudan. Conflict and insecurity continued to disrupt markets in parts of South Sudan, Somalia, and the Darfur and South Kordofan States in Sudan.

In Southern Africa, regional staple food stocks continued to tighten in February, but availability remains higher than previous years. Harvests from the 2013/14 production year were well-above average in the region’s surplus-producing countries. Food availability improved in flood-affected southern Malawi as road conditions improved and with increased food assistance.

Locally produced staple food prices increased progressively throughout Central America and Caribbean as market supplies from the below-average Otoño harvest in Haiti and Postrera harvest in Central America decreased earlier than normal. Imported wheat, yellow maize, and rice availability and prices were stable region-wide.

In Central Asia, wheat availability remained good in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Prices stabilized in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan after increasing over the last quarter of 2014.

International maize, rice, and soybean prices were stable while wheat prices declined slightly in February, and all were below February 2014 levels due very well supplied global markets from record or near record global production in 2014. Crude oil prices increased slightly in February, but remained below average.