Globally: Wheat export prices showed mixed trends in November but remained below their year-earlier levels. The benchmark US wheat (No.2 Hard Red Winter, f.o.b.) price averaged USD 191 per tonne, slightly down from October and nearly 10 percent below the corresponding month last year.
Imported commodities: The increasing prices of key imported food commodities in December are attributable to various socioeconomic factors including the recent shortage of hard currency to import. In the FSIS targeted governorates, average prices increased by 7.19% for Vegetable cooking oil, 4.31% for Faba beans, 3.38% for Wheat and 2% for Rice. The December prices are higher than pre-crisis era by 45.14% for rice, 43.88% for sugar and least 24.66% for Wheat flour.
Locally produced cereals: As a result of November 2016 harvesting season in almost all targeted governorates, the December prices of all locally produced cereals declined nominally. Nevertheless, the prices remained higher than the pre crises prices by 49.13% for sorghum, by 44.90% for millets, by 60.47% for maize and by 69.23% for barley.
Fuel Commodities: Diesel prices in all governorates remained stable while petrol prices declined with highest decline of 20.9% recorded in Hodeida followed by Taiz and Lahej Governorates by 16.23% and 13.47% respectively when compared to November 2016. Despite the decline of Petrol prices, when compared to pre-crisis period the prices are higher ranging from 16.67% in Hadramout to 72.0% in Taiz. December cooking gas prices in Taiz Governorate are higher by132.68% when compared to pre crisis era prices.
Importation: Traders have reportedly stopped or in a process of stopping wheat imports due to financing problems resulting from the Central Bank crisis and local banks difficulties to convert the local currency into US dollars, needed to make purchases, due to limited supplies of foreign currency. The impact of the stoppage may be witnessed in coming months with possibility of highly priced imported food commodities or unavailability in some markets if no mitigation measures are undertaken.
Availability of food commodities in the markets: Monitoring data from Sana’a City, Dhamar, Hajjah, Hodeida, Hadramout and Lahej markets generally shows availability of basic food and non-food commodities apart from unavailability due to seasonality factors. However, Taiz City in particular the physical and economic access to basic food and non-food commodities is a big challenge either due to higher prices, limited quantities and in some cases total unavailability of food commodities eg some types of fish.