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The Market Monitor - Trends and impacts of staple food prices in vulnerable countries, Issue 29 - October 2015

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This bulletin examines trends in staple food and fuel prices, the cost of the basic food basket and consumer price indices for 70 countries in the third quarter of 2015 (July to September).1 The maps on pages 6–7 disaggregate the impact analysis to sub-national level.

• FAO’s global cereal price index still continued to fall in Q3-2015, down 12.7 percent year-on-year and is now at 2010 levels.

• The real price2 of wheat dropped a further 14 percent over the last quarter. Prices are 30 percent lower than in Q3-2014, thanks to record production in 2015, abundant global supply and strong export competition.

• The real price of maize has dropped 2 percent since Q2-2015 and is 3 percent lower than in Q3-2014. However, global production 2015/16 is projected to be lower than this year.

• The real price of rice has fallen by 1 percent since Q2-2015 and is 15 percent lower than Q3 last year.
Despite reduced production amid increased global utilisation, weakened import demand has kept rice prices in check.

• In Q3-2015, the real price of crude oil dropped by 19 percent compared with Q2-2015 and reached a level last seen in 2004.

• The cost of the minimum food basket increased severely (>10%) during Q3-2015 in four countries:
Ghana, Myanmar, Syria and Tanzania. High increases (5–10%) were seen in Benin, Ethiopia, Haiti, Kenya and Mali. In the other monitored countries, the change was low or moderate (<5%).

• Price spikes, as monitored by ALPS (Alert for Price Spikes), are evident in 16 countries, particularly in Ghana, India, Malawi, Myanmar, South Sudan,
Sudan and Yemen (see the map below).3 These spikes indicate crisis levels for the two most important staples in the country, whether they are either cassava, maize, rice, wheat, sorghum or sugar.