Global Price Watch: September 2017 Prices (October 31, 2017)
In West Africa, regional staple food production during the 2016/17 marketing year was well above average. International imports along with institutional subsidized sales supported market supplies. Prices were stable at seasonally high levels as the marketing year concluded in September. Pastoral conditions improved in the eastern and central marketing basins. Market anomalies remain concentrated in the eastern marketing basin, including but not limited to: conflict-related market disruptions in the Lake Chad basin, localized above-average grain deficits in Niger, and trade disruptions related to the depreciation of the Naira and various government measures.
In East Africa, maize supplies are generally below-average, causing above-average prices across most of the region. Staple food price levels are especially high in South Sudan. Markets remain severely disrupted by insecurity and significant macro-economic issues in Yemen and South Sudan, impeding staple food supply access. Harvests are coming to an edn in Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda, and are about to begin in Kenya. Supplies are seasonally low in Ethiopia and Sudan as the lean season progresses.
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 followed seasonal trends in August and are at or below their respective 2016 and average levels many areas. Maize grain is generally able to circulate between surplus and deficit areas without major trade restrictions. 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, markets remain well supplied as the main maize harvest (Primera season) continued and is estimated to be average to above-average. Maize and bean prices were generally seasonally stable or decreasing, and near or below average levels across the region. In Haiti, local maize and bean supplies began tightening with the start of été season planting. Imported rice prices were mostly stable while the Haitian gourde experienced a moderate depreciation against the USD.
Central Asia sustained adequate supplies. Wheat prices generally remained stable in the region but declined slightly in exporting countries. The main harvest is nearly complete and production forecasts remain largely unchanged from last month.
**International **staple food markets remain well supplied. Rice and maize prices fell, wheat prices were generally firm, while soybean prices increased. Crude oil prices rose for the second consecutive month to levels above September 2016 prices.
About Price Watch
Price Watch offers a monthly summary and outlook on global, regional and national trends of key commodity prices in FEWS NET countries. Analysis may touch on global issues, such as fuel prices or exchange rates, if they are likely to influence staple food prices in FEWS NET countries. The accompanying Price Watch Annex details price trends by country.