In West Africa, as the new 2019/20 marketing year is about to begin, supplies are starting to increase, especially with early harvests and release of stocks, while demand is decreasing with substantial outstanding stocks. Month-to-month coarse grain prices in the Sahel are stable or decreasing, at below-average levels. Above-average local and imported rice prices, however, persist in most coastal countries. Disrupted trade activities and atypical market trends continue in insecurity-stricken Greater Lake Chad basin, Tibesti region, and Liptako-Gourma region. Nigeria’s land border closure has impeded trade and affected prices for imported products.
In East Africa, maize and sorghum prices increased in many areas of surplus-producing Uganda and Tanzania due to strong domestic and regional demand. Prices declined in Kenya and South Sudan with increased availability from local production and relatively lower-priced imports from regional markets. Sorghum prices remained stable at elevated levels ahead of harvests in Sudan and Ethiopia. Wheat flour prices were stable at elevated levels in Yemen. Livestock price trends varied depending on local rangeland conditions and export demand.
In Southern Africa, maize supplies on major markets were at average to below-average levels. Maize grain prices were stable or increasing and will likely continue increasing in the October to December period, except in South Africa where prices will likely remain stable. Maize grain was able to circulate between surplus and deficit areas, except in Zambia where export restrictions remain in place. There was, however, an uptick in informal maize grain exports from Zambia into Tanzania during September as traders were pre-positioning stocks for re-export to Kenya.
In Central America, maize and bean market supplies remained sufficient region-wide in September with availability from the recent Primera harvest, carryover stocks from the Postrera harvest and international imports. Month on month maize and bean price trends varied in line with seasonal trends, with maize prices remaining above average and bean prices below average. In Haiti, market activity has been disrupted by ongoing civil unrest. Imported rice and maize meal prices were stable. Local maize prices were stable while local black bean prices increased in September. The Haitian gourde remained 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 be at average levels. Wheat prices have been increasing and are slightly above average in Kazakhstan, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.
International staple food markets are well supplied. Rice, maize and wheat prices decreased while soybean prices were stable in September (Figure 2). Global crude oil prices increased sharply following mid-month attacks on Saudi Aramco processing facilities but had stabilized by the end of the month while global fertilizer prices decreased in September.