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The Market Monitor - Trends and impacts of staple food prices in vulnerable countries, Issue 37 - October 2017


Global Highlights

• The upward trend of FAO’s global food price index in 2017 continued in Q3, with the index 7 percent higher than in Q3-2016; this is particularly the result of higher dairy prices. The FAO cereal price index rose by 8.2 percent over the same period.

• The real price2 of wheat rose by 4 percent from Q2-2017. Although prices are significantly higher than in Q3-2016, world supplies are abundant and production forecasts for Russia and the EU are very favourable.

• The real price of maize remains low; it fell 3 percent against the previous quarter and 2016 as this year’s production is forecast to reach almost record levels.

• During Q3-2017, the real price of rice fell by 3 percent compared with the previous quarter. World rice stocks are expected to remain high as both consumption and supplies have increased.

• In a context of higher demand and slightly contracting global inventories, the real price of crude oil has firmed and is now 11 percent higher than in Q3-2016. Even so, prices are still generally low.

• The cost of the basic food basket increased severely (>10%) in Q3-2017 in three countries: Burundi,
Cameroon and Viet Nam. High increases (5–10%) were seen in Burkina Faso, Chad, Liberia, Mali, Sudan and Panama. 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, Haiti, Niger, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda (see the map below).3 These spikes indicate crisis levels for the two most important staples in each country, which could be cassava, maize, milk, millet, oil, rice, sorghum, sweet potatoes or wheat.