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The Market Monitor - Trends and impacts of staple food prices in vulnerable countries, Issue 39 - April 2018

Situation Report
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Global Highlights

• In Q1-2018, the FAO cereal price index rose by 8.6 percent from Q1-2017, while the global food price index declined by 2 percent year-on-year.

• The real price for wheat was 22 percent above Q1-2017 levels: crops suffered dryness in the United States and cold weather in Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, leaving production forecasts open to a downward revision.3 World ending stocks remain at record levels.

• The real price for maize was 6 percent higher than last quarter but stable compared to Q1-2017.
Overall favourable crop conditions offset mixed production outcomes in the southern African regions, leading to firm world supplies.

• The real price of rice increased by 14 percent from Q1-2017, with a slight contraction of stocks in exporting countries and increased buying interest from importing countries.

• In Q1, the real price of crude oil increased by 5 percent from the previous quarter following an agreement on extensive production cuts in major oil-producing countries.

• The cost of the basic food basket increased severely (>10%) in Q1-2018 in five countries: Bangladesh, Central African Republic, Rwanda, the Sudan and Yemen. High increases (5–10%) were seen in Indonesia, Iraq, Myanmar, South Sudan, Turkey and Viet Nam. In the other monitored countries, the change was moderate or low (<5%).

• Price spikes, as monitored by ALPS, were detected in 19 countries, particularly in Burkina Faso, Haiti, Mali, Sudan, Sri Lanka, South Sudan and the Sudan (see the map below).4 These spikes indicate crisis levels for the two most important staples in each country, which could be maize, milk, millet, oil, rice, sorghum, sweet potatoes or wheat.