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The Market Monitor - Trends and impacts of staple food prices in vulnerable countries, Issue 28 - July 2015

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· FAO’s global cereal price index continued to fall in Q2-2015, down 19 percent year-on-year.

· The real price of wheat dropped a further 9 percent over the last quarter. Prices are 33 percent lower than in Q2-2014, thanks to increased global supply and lower consumption.

· The real price of maize has fallen by 3 percent since Q1-2015 and is 21 percent lower than inQ2-2014. However, global production for 2015/16 is set to be lower and thus prices are likely to rise.

· The real price of rice has dropped 10 percent since Q1-2015 and is 8 percent lower than last year. Global rice production for 2015/16 is expected to be higher than last year.

· If the negative El Niño predictions hold true on a wide scale, international food prices as well as domestic prices in the affected countries are expected to rise.

· In Q2-2015, the real price of crude oil rose by 15 percent compared to Q1-2015 but prices are still 43 percent lower than during the same period in 2014.

· The cost of the minimum food basket increased severely (>10%) during Q2-2015 in eight countries: Kenya, Malawi, South Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia. High increases (5–10%) were seen in Burundi, CAR, Chad, Colombia, Lebanon and Sierra Leone. In the other 55 monitored countries, the change was low or moderate (<5%).

· Price spikes, as monitored by ALPS (Alert for Price Spikes), are evident in Chad, India, Ghana, Malawi, South Sudan, Sudan, Yemen and Zambia. These spikes indicate crisis levels for at least one of the two most important staples in the country, whether they are cassava meal, maize, millet, rice, wheat or sorghum.