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The Market Monitor - Trends and impacts of staple food prices in vulnerable countries, Issue 38 - January 2018

Situation Report
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Global Highlights

• In Q4-2017, the global food price index of FAO dropped by 2 percent compared to Q3 and remained at approximately the same level as one year ago.
In contrast, the cereal price index rose by 7.6 percent in comparison to Q4-2016.

• Although the real price2 of wheat fell by 2 percent from Q3-2017, prices are still 19 percent higher than in 2016, even though world ending stocks of wheat are at record levels.

• In Q4, the real price of maize was low at US$119/ mt with only slight variation from Q3-2017 and the previous year.

• The real price of rice remained relatively stable in Q4 albeit 6 percent higher than in Q4-2016. World rice ending stocks have been at their highest levels since 2000/01, with China keeping 66 percent of stocks.3 • Following extended agreements by major oil-producing states to limit production, the real price of crude oil increased by 19 percent compared to the previous quarter.

• The cost of the basic food basket increased severely (>10%) in Q4-2017 in four countries: Côte d’Ivoire, DR Congo, Madagascar and Sudan. High increases (5–10%) were seen in Burkina Faso, Chad, El Salvador, Mauritania, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Yemen. In the other monitored countries, the change was moderate or low (<5%).

• Price spikes, as monitored by ALPS, were detected in 24 countries, particularly in Burkina Faso, Burundi, Mali, Niger, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Ukraine (see the map below).4 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.