Global Price Watch: September 2018 Prices (October 31, 2018)
- In West Africa, the 2017/18 marketing season is ending with favorable harvest prospects for 2018/19, as the rainy season concluded in most countries. Early harvests along with release of carryover stocks from the previous year are progressively revitalizing market supplies across the region. Month-to-month price variation is stable or declining at below last year’s levels. Prices remain above average. Insecurity-related market disruptions persist in the Greater Lake Chad basin, northern and central Mali, and the Liptako-Gourma.
- In East Africa, markets remain severely affected by insecurity and significant macro-economic challenges in Yemen, South Sudan, and Sudan disrupting market supplies. Deteriorating economic conditions in Ethiopia kept prices elevated. Maize and sorghum prices were stable or declined because of the impending October-to-January harvest in Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, and Sudan, and ample supplies in Tanzania, Uganda, and Somalia.
- In Southern Africa, domestic maize supplies were at normal levels in September. Maize grain prices exhibited mixed trends, which is typical in September as the lean season begins to approach. Maize grain was generally able to circulate between surplus and deficit areas, except for Zambia where restrictions on export permits resulted in negligible formal maize grain exports 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 and supported by the current Primera harvest, carryover stocks, and imports. Maize prices remained above average but seasonally decreased in September in all countries except Nicaragua where market disruptions from the ongoing political crisis continued to cause price increases. Bean prices were stable or decreasing and below average across the region. In Haiti, local maize grain and local black bean prices were mixed across key reference markets while imported rice and maize meal prices increased. The Haitian gourde depreciated further against the USD.
- Central Asia sustained adequate supplies and intraregional trade continues to fill local wheat deficits within the region. Kazakhstan and Pakistan are expected to have above-average upcoming wheat harvests while Afghanistan is expected to have below-average wheat production. Wheat prices remained stable and below-average in Kazakhstan, the region’s largest exporter.
- International staple food markets remain well supplied. Rice, wheat and soybean prices decreased while maize prices were mixed. Crude oil and global fertilizer prices strengthened further in September and remained above 2017 levels.