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Global Price Watch: September 2020 Prices (October 30, 2020)

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Situation Report
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Key Messages

  • In West Africa, market supplies in cereals and legumes started to increase in September ahead of the 2020/21 marketing year. At the same time, market demand began to decrease seasonally. Persisting insecurity continued to affect market functioning and access in the Greater Lake Chad basin, the Liptako-Gourma region, the Tibesti region. Coarse grain prices decreased seasonally between August and September, notably in the Sahel. Food prices in Nigeria also decreased from August levels but remained above average due to the macroeconomic downturn. Livestock market activity was limited due to seasonal migration of animals to dry season grazing lands and COVID-19 related movement restrictions.

  • In East Africa, staple food price trends varied across the region. COVID-19 related movement restrictions continued to contribute to some atypical supply, demand, and price patterns. Maize prices declined following the recent of May-to-August harvests in surplus-producing Uganda and Tanzania in a context of weak regional demand and were stable in Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia. Sorghum, millet, and locally-produced wheat prices increased toward the end of the lean season in Sudan and South Sudan. Livestock prices remained stable at elevated levels due to good animal body conditions.

  • In Southern Africa, markets were well supplied with maize in most countries of the region as the 2020/21 marketing year progressed. Prices varied seasonally in many countries. South Africa continued exporting maize to structurally-deficit countries of the region, notably to Zimbabwe where local production deficits coupled with deteriorating macroeconomic conditions have led to persistently increasing prices. Zambia maintained a ban on formal maize exports but continued exporting via informal channels due to favorable prices in neighboring countries.

  • In Central America, maize and bean supplies were at average to above-average levels in September, supported by ongoing 2020 Primera season harvest and imports. Maize and bean prices were stable or decreasing on average. In Haiti, staple food supplies were at average to below-average levels in September, while prices were stable or decreasing on average. The HTG appreciated against the USD.

  • In Central Asia, wheat prices were stable or decreasing on average in Afghanistan and Kazakhstan while wheat prices increased in Pakistan. In Yemen, the broader conflict and macroeconomic context continued to disrupt overall market functioning and food access with staple food and fuel prices remaining above-average levels.

  • International staple food markets are well supplied. Rice, wheat, maize, and soybean prices increased in September. Global crude oil prices decreased as the pace of the global oil demand recovery eased. Global fertilizer prices were stable in September.