Global Price Watch: October 2017 Prices (November 30, 2017)
• In West Africa, harvests across the Sahel were well underway in October. Aggregate regional staple food production for the 2017/18 marketing year is expected to be average to above average. Locally-produced grain prices declined seasonally in October, as post-harvest market sales and trade flows intensified. Trade opportunities with Nigeria continue to influence livestock market prices heavily in neighboring countries. Market anomalies remain mainly 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, markets remain severely disrupted by insecurity and significant macro-economic issues in Yemen and South Sudan, impeding staple food supply access and putting upward pressure on prices. Staple food prices were generally stable, supported with supplies from recent harvests, or began to decline in October with the imminent start of a harvest in most of the region. Livestock prices were mixed, increasing in some markets due to improved body conditions and declining in others because of increased supply during low demand.
• In Southern Africa, maize availability is average to above average following recent above average regional harvests. After reaching very high levels in 2016, maize prices were at or below their respective 2016 and average levels across much of the region in October. Maize grain is generally able to circulate between surplus and deficit areas without major trade restrictions within the region. Export parity prices are competitive, encouraging exports to East Africa (from Zambia,
South Africa, and Malawi) and international markets (from South Africa).
• In Central America,staple food availability remained high as the main maize harvest (Primera season), which is estimated to be average to above-average, came to an end in October. Maize and bean prices were generally seasonally stable or increasing ahead of the Postrera harvest, and near or below average levels across the region. In Haiti, local maize and bean supplies tightened further as été harvests did not result in lower prices. Imported rice prices increased significantly while the Haitian gourde experienced a slight appreciation against the USD.
• Central Asia sustained adequate supplies and intraregional trade is expected to fill regional wheat deficits. Wheat prices remained stable though are below-average in the region’s largest exporter,
Kazakhstan and above-average in Tajikistan.
• International staple food markets remain well supplied. Rice prices fell, wheat prices were mixed, while maize and soybean prices increased.
Crude oil prices rose for the third consecutive month to levels above October 2016 prices.