The Market Monitor - Trends of staple food prices in vulnerable countries, Issue 18 - January 2013
This bulletin examines trends in staple food and fuel prices, the cost of the basic food basket, terms of trade and consumer price indices for 69 countries in the fourth quarter of 2012 (October to December, Q4-2012). This issue also highlights the impact of conflicts on food and fuel prices in two current hot-spot countries; Syria and Mali. In addition, Kyrgyzstan is featured, with a focus on the price transmission of the 2012 global summer heat and drought impacts.
The global cereal price index increased by 12.8 percent in Q4-2012 on a year-on-year basis (October-December quarter). This upward trend was fuelled by global wheat and maize prices, which increased by 27 and 18 percent respectively during Q4-2012 compared to the same quarter of last year, while rice decreased by only 3 percent. In Q4-2012, global maize and wheat prices have stabilized at their highest values reached in the previous quarter, when major exporting countries were hit by the extreme summer heat and droughts. When prices are adjusted for changes in the US Consumer Price Index, the Q4-2012 global maize price is close to its peak of Q3-2012 and above the spike of 2008. The Q4-2012 global wheat price is 18% less than its peak level of Q1-2008, while the global rice price has eased significantly compared to previous years.