Global Price Watch: October 2019 Prices (November 30, 2019)
In West Africa, staple food market supplies are increasing at the start of the 2019/20 marketing year with availability from recent harvests as well as substantial regional carry-over stocks. Month-on-month grain prices in the Sahel decreased or were stable, at below-average levels. However, local and imported rice prices remained above-average in most coastal countries. Market functioning and trade activities remain disrupted in the insecure and conflict-stricken Greater Lake Chad basin, Tibesti region, and Liptako-Gourma region. Nigeria’s land border closure has had a significant domestic and regional impact, hindering trade especially with neighboring Benin and Niger.
In East Africa, maize and sorghum prices increased seasonally in surplus-producing Uganda and Tanzania. Prices were stable or declined in Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan, and Somalia with increased availability from local production and relatively lower-priced imports from regional markets. Prices remained stable at elevated levels ahead of harvests in Ethiopia while wheat flour prices were stable at elevated levels in Yemen. Livestock prices were stable or increasing due to ample feed and water availability.
In Southern Africa, maize supplies on major markets were at average to below-average levels. Maize grain prices were stable or increasing. Maize prices will likely continue increasing with the progression of the lean season, peaking in January or February. Maize grain was generally able to circulate between surplus and deficit areas, except for Zambia where export restrictions remained in place. Informal maize grain exports into Tanzania were sustained as traders continue to pre-position stocks for re-export to Kenya.
In Central America, markets were well supplied in October with availability from the recent Primera harvest, carryover stocks from the Postrera harvest, and international imports. Prices followed seasonal trends, decreasing for maize and increasing or remaining stable for beans. Regionally, maize prices remained above average while bean prices remained below average. In Haiti, ongoing civil unrest continued to disrupt market activities. Both local and imported staple foods prices increased significantly in October. The Haitian gourde was largely stable against the U.S. dollar but maintains a 30 percent year-on-year depreciation.
Central Asia sustained adequate supplies and intraregional trade is expected to fill local wheat deficits within the region. Local wheat availability in Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, and Pakistan is expected to remain at average levels. Wheat prices have been increasing and are slightly above average in Kazakhstan, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.
International staple food markets remained well supplied. Rice prices were stable or decreased, maize and wheat prices increased, while soybean prices were stable in October (Figure 2). Global crude oil prices decreased as markets traded in a relatively narrow range after heightened price volatility in September. Global fertilizer prices were stable or decreased in October.