Price Watch: April 2017 Prices (May 31 2017)
• In West Africa, regional staple food production during the 2016/17 marketing year was well above average. International rice and wheat imports continue to support regional market supplies. Prices continued to increase seasonally in many areas, as household stocks depleted and market purchases intensified. Current market anomalies remain concentrated in the eastern marketing basin, including but not limited to: conflict-related market disruptions in the Lake Chad basin, localized above-average grain deficits in Niger, and the impacts of the continued depreciation of the Naira (Page 3).
• In East Africa, staple food supplies remain tight and prices well above-average in South Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen.
Markets remain severely disrupted by insecurity in Yemen and South Sudan. Import capacity in Yemen is uncertain, and food availability may be constrained in the coming months. Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania are also facing below-average staple food supply and above-average and increasing prices following poor harvests (Page 4).
• In Southern Africa, regional maize availability continued to improve in April with the progression of the 2016/17 production season. Regional maize production prospects for the current season are good with record-high harvests anticipated in South Africa. Maize prices were stable or declined in April, and are below their respective 2016 levels in many areas. The exception to these trends is in Tanzania, where supplies are tight and prices continue to increase in the central and northern areas of the countries (Page 5).
• In Central America, local maize availability continued to decline following the end of the recent Postrera harvest, while bean supplies from the Apante harvest continued to supply markets. Maize and bean prices were seasonally stable or decreasing across the region, with varied trends compared to average levels. In Haiti, local maize and bean prices saw a modest decrease from their March levels but continue to remain well above average levels (Page 6). Imported rice prices remain stable despite the depreciation of the Gourde. The recent removal of fuel subsidies has increased transportation costs and will place an upward pressure on staple food prices in the coming months.
• Central Asia sustained adequate supplies.
Wheat prices in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan remained stable and near 2016 levels. Rice prices in Pakistan increased following greater export demand, affecting also rice prices in Afghanistan. Intraregional trade is expected to fill staple food deficits in importing countries (Page 7).
• International staple food markets remain well supplied. Maize, wheat and soybean prices fell, while rice prices remained firm, (Figure 2). Crude oil prices increased and remain well below average (Page 2).