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Global Price Watch: March 2011 Food Prices

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The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) monitors trends in staple food prices in countries vulnerable to food insecurity. The Price Watch provides an update on trends in selected urban centers. Prices for key markets and commodities monitored (mostly at the retail level) are made available in the Price Watch Annex.Despite surging international grain prices, many countries monitored by FEWS NET, especially in West and Southern Africa and Haiti, have still been showing relatively low grain prices or only typical, seasonal price increases. The international wheat price rise has been transmitted to Central Asia, Yemen, Mauritania, and Djibouti. The international maize price rise has been transmitted to Central America. Maize and sorghum prices have increased due to local factors in much of East Africa. - High demand for exports is driving up staple food prices in Uganda, Rwanda, and Tanzania.- Strong demand and stock-holding may be driving up prices in Kenya’s grain belt and Central Ethiopia, but prices in these areas are starting at a relatively low level due to last year’s good harvests. - The current drought and the failure of last year’s deyr harvest are driving up prices in Southern Ethiopia, Southern Somalia, and pastoral areas of Kenya from their already elevated levels