Monthly Market Monitoring Bulletin (January 2017)

Key Highlights

  • Globally: The FAO Food Price Index* (FFPI) averaged 173.8 points in January 2017 and is at its highest value since February 2015 and as much as 16.4 percent above its level in the corresponding period last year. International prices of all major cereals strengthened in January as indicated by the FAO Cereal Price Index, which averaged 147 points in January, 3.4 percent above December 2016, and representing a six-month high. The benchmark US wheat price for Gulf averaged USD 201 per tonne, more than 7 percent up from December, but still 6 percent lower than a year earlier (FAO - FPMA February 2017).
  • Imported commodities: The January 2017 average prices of imported vegetable oil, wheat flour, rice, and sugar have increased by around 5%, 3.66%, 3.05%, and 2.31% respectively. At the same time, the monthly average prices of the imported wheat grains, wheat flour and sugar at the time of reporting period recorded 18%, 9% and 25% above their levels in the corresponding month last year respectively.
  • Locally produced Cereals: The January 2017 average prices of barley rose by 3.02 % and less than 2% for maize and millet compared to December 2016. Similarly, the monthly average prices of the locally produced cereals in January 2017 recorded 15% and 2 % below its levels for sorghum and barley and 1% above its levels for maize in the corresponding month last year.
  • Fuel Commodities a significant increase in the average prices of petrol by 70% and unavailability of diesel in Lahej, and neighboring governorates was due to the fuel crises in Aden, which started, in the second half of January 2017. The situation also negatively affected Taiz with an increase of petrol price up to 11.63% and 15.47% for cooking gas. The fuel crisis also contributed for the prices increase of fish by 30.04% in Lahej and by above 40% in Taiz.
  • Importation: The latest available data of importation during 2016, showed an amount of 1,613,910 metric tons of key basic food commodities (wheat grains, wheat flour, sugar, rice and cooking oil ) were imported through the port of Al Hodeidah, out of which wheat grains and wheat flour constitutes 1,157,280 tons. Moreover, 28,952 MT of wheat and wheat flour was imported through Mukalla port (November 2016) of which 19,034 MT wheat grains, 9,918 wheat flour.
  • Availability of food commodities in the markets: Except Taiz, key food and non-food basic commodities are relatively available in other target governorates. Average prices of most food and non-food commodities in Taiz city during January 2017 showed the highest increase compared to other target governorates. This will significantly affect the physical and economic access to basic food and non-food commodities, as it is a big challenge both due to limited quantities and in some cases total unavailability of food commodities in some of the local markets. Reportedly, the prices of fuel and food commodities in Hodeidah have significantly increased because of the ongoing conflict and the sharp increase of the US dollar against the YER. The exchange rate of YER against US dollar is 350 in Sanaa compared to 315 YER/US dollar in the previous week and months.