Photo Credit: Imran Sohail

The latest Food Price Monitoring and Analysis (FPMA) Bulletin from FAO cites higher global wheat export prices in July, up 6 percent from June and 28 percent from July 2016. Continued hot, dry weather raised concerns about availability, particularly of high-quality wheat; the European Union and the Black Sea region also saw harvest delays, further pushing up prices.

Global maize prices remained generally stable in July, with benchmark prices slightly below their July 2016 levels. Concerns about weather and stronger global demand put upward pressure on prices in the first half of the month, but improved weather in some producing regions and an upward revision in global 2017-2018 ending stocks held prices stable during the second half of July. Global rice prices rose slightly (0.7 percent) in July and reached a two-year high.

The FPMA report also provides early warnings for high country-level food prices that may negatively affect food security. This month’s report included several domestic price warnings.

In Bangladesh, coarse rice prices fell significantly in July, due in part to relaxed import rules which increased the availability of imported rice. However, rice prices remain 40 percent higher than those seen in July 2016, after losses from flooding and pests in the beginning of 2017 exacerbated already tight supplies.

Maize prices in Ethiopia reached record highs in July; prices have risen by 70 percent between January and July in all monitored markets. Erratic rainfall has negatively impacted harvests throughout the country, and concerns remain regarding the ongoing fall armyworm infestation, which has damaged several major crops, including maize. Drought has also impacted the production of livestock and milk, with milk prices rising due to poor production and the price of livestock falling due to animals’ poor body conditions.
Maize prices in Kenya fell for the second consecutive month, but remain well above their July 2016 levels. The continued high prices are due mainly reduced supplies following drought in 2016, as well as continuing dry conditions and the ongoing fall armyworm infestation. In an effort to curb price rises, the Government of Kenya has instituted subsidies for imported maize and for the sale of maize flour. Bean prices in Kenya also declined in July, but remain 50 percent higher than their year-earlier levels.

In Niger, the price of coarse grains was relatively stable in July, but remained at record or near-record highs in most markets. Subsidization of cereal sales, combined with a decline in demand during Ramadan, contributed to the stabilization of prices in July, as did progress in the planting of 2017 crops. However, production shortfalls in 2016 continue to place pressure on prices, as do large institutional purchases and lower imports from neighboring Nigeria.

Coarse grain prices also remained stable in Nigeria in June (the last month for which data are available), but are at record or near-record levels as well. Prices stabilized due to the appreciation of the local currency, decreased demand during Ramadan, and adequate rainfall throughout much of the country at the start of the main 2017 growing season. However, the steady depreciation of the currency over the past year, coupled with civil insecurity and high transportation costs and reduced imports, is keeping prices high.

All the data used in the analysis can be found in the FPMA Tool.

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