The Market Monitor - Trends and impacts of staple food prices in vulnerable countries, Issue 30 - January 2016
This bulletin examines trends in staple food and fuel prices, the cost of the basic food basket and consumer price indices for 69 countries in the fourth quarter of 2015 (October to December). The maps on pages 6–7 disaggregate the impact analysis to sub-national level.
• During Q4-2015, FAO’s global cereal price index fell by a further 15.2 percent year-on-year because of abundant supplies and sluggish demand. The index returned to the level seen before the food price crisis of 2007-08.
• The real price of wheat dropped by eight percent over the last quarter. It fell by more than 25 percent compared with Q4-2014 mainly because of world record production and higher ending stocks.
• The real price of maize remained constant compared with Q3-2015. Despite lower than expected production forecasts for 2015/16, global supplies were comfortable amid above-average closing stocks.
• During Q4-2015, the real price of rice decreased by two percent. As in Q3, prices were 15 percent below 2014 levels. However, global rice supplies may tighten in 2015/16.
• In Q4-2015, the real price of crude oil dropped a further 12 percent compared with Q3-2015 and reached its lowest level in the past eleven years.
• The cost of the minimum food basket increased severely (>10%) during Q4-2015 in nine countries: Burundi, Malawi, Niger, Peru, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Turkey. High increases (5–10%) were seen in Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Uganda and Yemen. In the other monitored countries, the change was low or moderate (<5%).
• Price spikes, as monitored by ALPS (Alert for Price Spikes), were evident in 19 countries, particularly in Ghana, Haiti, India, Malawi, Mozambique, Myanmar, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan and Syria (see the map below).3 These spikes indicate crisis levels for the two most important staples in each country, including beans, cassava meal, maize, millet, potatoes, rice, wheat, sorghum and sugar.