The Market Monitor - Trends and impacts of staple food prices in vulnerable countries, Issue 31 - April 2016

from World Food Programme
Published on 30 Apr 2016

This bulletin examines trends in staple food and fuel prices, the cost of the basic food basket and consumer price indices for 71 countries in the first quarter of 2016 (January to March).1 The maps on pages 6–7 disaggregate the impact analysis to sub-national level.

Global Highlights

•During Q1-2016, FAO’s global cereal price index fell by 14 percent year-on-year thanks to ample supplies and stock positions. The index is now at levels last seen in early 2007. The FAO global food price index is 15 percent lower than in Q1-2015.

•The real price2 of wheat has fallen by 22 percent over the past year and is 3 percent below Q4-2015 levels. This is because world production is still at record levels, and ending stocks in March were 9 percent greater than those in 2014/15.

•The real price of maize came under pressure in Q1-2016 and is 9 percent lower than last year. Global supplies are abundant and export competition is high.

•During Q1-2016, the real price of rice remained constant compared to Q4-2015. It is down 15 percent from Q1-2015.

•In Q1-2016, the real price of crude oil dropped by 23 percent to its lowest level since 2004. The drop has been largely supply driven. Prices started to pick up after January.

•The cost of the minimum food basket increased severely (>10%) in Q1-2016 in eight countries:

Burundi, Republic of Congo, Ghana, Lao PDR, Malawi, South Sudan, Swaziland and Viet Nam.
High increases (5–10%) were seen in Costa Rica, Iran, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Sudan, Thailand and Zambia. In the other monitored countries, the change was moderate or low (<5%).

•Price spikes, as monitored by ALPS (Alert for Price Spikes), were detected in 16 countries, particularly in Burundi, Ghana, Haiti, India, Malawi, Mozambique,
South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Zambia (see the map below).3 These spikes indicate crisis levels for the two most important staples in each country, which could be beans, cassava, maize, millet, oil, rice, sorghum, sweet potatoes, sugar or wheat flour.