In West Africa, market supplies were average, except in Nigeria where market supplies remain below average. Insecurity and conflict continued to hamper market functioning and access in the Greater Lake Chad basin, the Liptako-Gourma region, northwest and north-central Nigeria, and the Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon. Demand for coarse grains is above average and increased earlier than usual in the eastern basin. Prices were stable or increasing and generally above average. Poor macroeconomic conditions continued in Nigeria.
In East Africa, staple food price trends varied seasonally across the region. Prices declined or remained stable in most markets across Uganda, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Kenya, and Burundi due to increased supply from the October-to-February harvest. Prices increased in Somalia due to the below-average January harvest. Staple food prices in Tanzania increased as supplies tightened before the main harvest in May. Poor macro-economic conditions heightened staple food commodity prices in Sudan, South Sudan, and Ethiopia. Livestock price trends varied depending on local rangeland conditions.
In Southern Africa, despite adequate regional maize availability throughout the 2020/21 marketing year, prices have been elevated. Upward price pressure started to subside in February as the lean season concludes. Prices continued declining in South Africa, Malawi, DRC and likely reached their peak levels in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Tanzania. Staple food production prospects are favorable across much of the region for the 2021/22 marketing year. Southern Madagascar has experienced consecutive years of drought and prices continue to increase at already elevated levels.
In Central America, markets were adequately supplied and operating normally. Maize prices decreased seasonally in February, except for Guatemala. Bean prices were stable or increasing while rice prices remained stable. In Haiti, markets were well supplied except for Croix-des-Bossales (Port-au-Prince) due to civil insecurity. Prices of imported products such as rice increased with local currency volatility.
In Central Asia, wheat prices in Pakistan and Kazakhstan were relatively stable but increased in Afghanistan and Tajikistan. In Yemen, the economy continues to be impacted by foreign currency shortages and the depreciation of the local currency due to protracted conflict. Staple food prices remain significantly above their respective 2020 levels.
International staple food markets are well supplied. Rice, wheat, and soybean prices were stable while maize prices were stable or increasing in February (Figure 2). Global crude oil prices rose further in February due to declining inventory levels and expectations for recovery in global oil demand in 2021. Global fertilizer prices increased significantly due to increased demand and supply-side disruption.