Global Price Watch: November 2017 Prices (December 28, 2017)
In West Africa, regional staple food production for the 2017/18 marketing year is projected to be above average, increasing for the fourth consecutive year. Locally-produced grain prices declined seasonally in November as post-harvest sales and trade flows intensified. Staple food prices remained above average across much of the region. Below average pastoral conditions continue to influence livestock markets in many areas. Market anomalies remain concentrated in the eastern marketing basin, including but not limited to conflict-related market disruptions in the Lake Chad basin, and trade disruptions related to the depreciation of the Naira, and various government measures in Nigeria.
In East Africa, staple food prices remained above average but were seasonally declining in most of the region with supplies from recent harvests or the imminent start of a harvest. Sorghum prices atypically increased in Sudan and Ethiopia due to delayed harvests. Markets remain severely disrupted by insecurity and significant macro-economic issues in Yemen and South Sudan. Food commodity prices continued to increase in Yemen due to the blockade by the Saudi Coalition in addition to currency depreciation and conflict related trade disruptions. Livestock prices were mixed depending on seasonal availability of pasture and water.
In Southern Africa, maize supplies across the region were at above-average levels due to above-average domestic supplies. Exportable maize surpluses are high in South Africa and Zambia to satisfy regional and international demand.
South Africa exported to Japan and Kenya, while Zambia exported to Burundi, Kenya and Rwanda. Maize prices were generally atypically stable across reference markets and levels were significantly below average.
In Central America, staple food availability remained high with supplies from the recent Primera harvest and the start of the Postrera harvest, which are estimated to be average to above-average. Maize and bean prices were generally seasonally stable and near or below average levels, except in Nicaragua where bean prices increased atypically and were above average. In Haiti, maize prices decreased slightly as more supplies from the été harvest entered the market, while black bean and imported rice prices were stable. Higher demand during the festive period is expected to place upward pressure on December prices for staples such as rice, pigeon peas, and red beans.
In Central Asia, regional availability and price trends varied considerably. However, regional wheat deficits are expected to be filled through intra-regional trade.
Wheat grain and flour prices have remained stable but trends vary by country.
International staple food markets remain well supplied. Rice prices rose slightly while maize, wheat and soybean prices were mostly stable in November 2017. Crude oil prices rose for the fourth consecutive month and are currently at their highest levels in more than two years.