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The Market Monitor - Trends and impacts of staple food prices in vulnerable countries, Issue 35 - April 2017


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 first quarter of 2017 (January to March).1 The maps on pages 6–7 disaggregate the impact analysis to sub-national level.

Global Highlights

• During Q1-2017, FAO’s global cereal price index increased by 5 percent compared to the previous quarter. Global cereal supplies remain ample and are expected to continue to meet current demand. However, the FAO global food price index is 16 percent higher yearon-year, mostly attributable to increases in the indices for dairy, oil and sugar prices.

• The real price2 of wheat went up by 13 percent compared to the previous quarter. World ending stocks (2018) are expected to increase further to new record levels.

• The real price of maize dropped 2 percent in Q1-2017 compared to the same period in 2016. Globally, FAOAMIS forecasts 2017/18 maize production to increase by 1.25 percent compared to last year.

• During Q1-2017, the real price of rice fell by 5 percent compared to Q4-2016 thanks to supplies rising faster than consumption and global ending stocks expected to increase to levels last seen in 2001/02.

• The real price of crude oil increased 4 percent on average in Q1-2017; it is 54 percent above last year’s level.

• The cost of the basic food basket increased severely (>10%) in Q1-2017 in eight countries: Burundi,
Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, the Gambia, Somalia, Tanzania, Viet Nam and Yemen. High increases (5–10%) were seen in Guatemala, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Niger, South Sudan, Sri Lanka and Ukraine. In the other monitored countries, the change was moderate or low (<5%).

• Price spikes, as monitored by ALPS, were detected in 27 countries, particularly in Burundi, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, South Sudan, Tanzania, Ukraine 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, milk, millet, oil, pasta, rice, sorghum, sweet potatoes, sugar or wheat.