Global Price Watch: October 2018 Prices (November 30, 2018)
- In West Africa, October marked the beginning of the 2018/19 marketing season and market supplies are increasing from new harvests. Expected above-average crop production estimates are favoring release of stocks, further improving supplies. Prices have generally decreased from the previous month and 2017 levels but remain above average. Insecurity and conflict disrupt market activities in the Greater Lake Chad basin, Tibesti region, northern and central Mali, and the Liptako-Gourma region.
- In East Africa, markets remain severely affected by insecurity and significant macro-economic challenges in Yemen, South Sudan, and Sudan, sustaining significantly above average prices in all three countries. Sharp currency depreciation for a third consecutive month in Yemen, on top of continued conflict in Al Hudaydah and increased fuel prices, continued to drive staple food price increases. The start of harvests in Ethiopia and Kenya, and the imminent start of harvests in Sudan, caused maize and sorghum prices to begin their seasonal decline. Staple food prices are generally below average in Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya.
- In Southern Africa, domestic maize supplies were at normal levels. Maize grain prices were stable on average except for Zambia and Zimbabwe. Maize grain was generally able to circulate between surplus and deficit areas, with the exception of Zambia where restrictions on issuance of export permits resulted in negligible export volumes (formal and informal) compared to average levels. Export parity prices remain competitive in South Africa, encouraging exports to international markets.
- In Central America, maize and bean market supplies are near average, supported by the recent Primera harvest, carryover stocks, and imports. Maize prices remained above average but seasonally decreased in October in all countries. Bean prices were below average and followed seasonal trends across the region except in Honduras. In Haiti, local maize grain prices increased while local black bean prices were stable across key reference markets. Imported rice prices were stable or decreasing for the first time since January 2018. The Haitian gourde depreciated further against the USD.
- Central Asia sustained adequate supplies and intraregional trade is expected to fill local wheat deficits in the region. Afghanistan is expected to have below-average wheat production, but gaps will be filled primarily from imports from major producers Pakistan and Kazakhstan. Wheat prices increased slightly but remain below-average in Kazakhstan, the region’s largest exporter.
- International staple food markets remain well supplied. Rice and wheat prices exhibited mixed trends, maize prices were stable or falling while soybean prices increased in October. Month on month average crude oil price trends were stable, despite price fluctuations in October. Global fertilizer prices strengthened further and remained above 2017 levels.