Tool

Food Price Monitor

The Food Price Monitor dashboard is a tool that allows you to keep track of changes in food prices both internationally and domestically. The tool is divided into three sections: international food prices, domestic food prices, and food price determinants.

The international food prices section provides you with information on the prices of different types of food that are traded internationally. This includes things like agricultural commodities, such as wheat, maize, and soybeans. You can view the actual US dollar price per unit, as well as indexed values that are calculated based on January 2012 = 100. The section also includes composite food price indices that measure monthly changes in international food prices. You can use the tool to monitor trends and volatility in international food prices and spot market prices.

The domestic food prices section shows you how food prices are changing in different countries. The tool provides data on food inflation rates, which refer to the increase in the prices of food items over a given period of time. You can also use the daily price monitor to see how much food costs in wholesale and retail markets for a variety of food products in major markets in India, Guatemala, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.

The food price determinants section provides you with information on the factors that influence food prices. This includes things like the cost of oil and energy, currency values, and the cost of making fertilizer. You can use the tool to monitor the latest developments in fertilizer markets, including a summary of market developments and tools for tracking fertilizer trade, utilization, and production. The section also provides data on the Nominal Rate of Protection (NRP), which measures the extent to which a set of agricultural policies affects the market price of a commodity.

All of the information in the tool comes from reliable sources, including the FAO, IMF, Bloomberg, and others. You can find out where the information came from at the bottom of the dashboard. 

Food Price Monitor

NOTES ON TAB 1: INTERNATIONAL PRICES

  • Commodity prices: Commodity prices refer to prices of internationally traded agricultural commodities in futures and spot markets. Futures market prices are those of futures contracts closest to maturity. Spot market prices are for a selected major variety and spot market (e.g. “USDA No. 1 Hard Winter Wheat” in Kansas City, MO spot market”), as indicated in the table above the graph. Price trends can be viewed for both the actual US dollar price per unit (typically per tonne or bushed) and indexed values. Indexed values are calculated based on January 2012 = 100. Data sources: CME | Bloomberg | FAO GIEWS.
  • Composite Food Price Index: Two composite food price indices are shown. The FAO Food Price Index is a measure of the monthly change in international prices of a basket of internationally traded food commodities (2014-2016 = 100). The International Grains Council (IGC) Grains and Oilseeds Index is based on daily composite prices for major grain and oilseed commodities (Jan 2000=100). Data sources: FAO | IGC.
  • Price Volatility: Two measures of volatility are shown: the Food Security Portal’s own excessive food price variability index and the coefficient of variation, which is a more conventional measure. The FSP excessive price variability index is in “red alert” when commodity price returns (i.e., day-to-day percentage changes of commodity prices) in futures markets exceed the 95% quantile of past returns. Vertical red lines in the graph indicate where a daily return exceeds this threshold. When it exceeds the threshold, the commodity price is considered to be an “high” or “excessive” volatility. In the early warning alert further below, the volatility status is reported for each commodity. For a further description of this volatility measure go to the Excessive Food Price Variablity Early Warning System tool page. The coefficient of variation (CV) of volatility in daily spot market prices is shown in the second visualization. The CV is a statistical measure of the relative dispersion of data points in a data series around the mean. In the graph it is defined as the ratio of the standard deviation of the past 20 observations of the spot market price (i.e., one month) relative to the mean of that price during that period. Higher values indicate greater volatility.

NOTES ON TAB 2: DOMESTIC PRICES

  • Commodity prices: The domestic price dataset is from by FAO’s GIEWS. The daily price monitor is collected by the FSP project, predominantly taken from primary sources in countries or, in some cases, through secondary sources. Data sources: FAO’s GIEWS.
  • Consumer Price Index: The inflation rate refers to the percentage change in the general price level of goods and services in an economy over a specific period of time, usually a year. It is commonly expressed as an annual percentage. Food inflation refers to the increase in the prices of food items over a given period of time. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Trading Economics provide data on food inflation rates for different countries. The map shows the latest available data Data sources: IMF | Trading Economics.

NOTES ON TAB 3: FOOD PRICE INFLATION DETERMINANTS

  • Price transmission: The presentation provides the impact of the invasion of Ukraine on food prices globally and domestically. The prices of wheat, maize, sorghum, and other food commodities increased globally and domestically, although domestic prices experienced a lag in response. The analysis shows that 75% of domestic prices move with world prices, with wheat having the highest transmission rate. The speed of transmission is relatively slow. The increase in food prices is estimated to raise poverty by 0.4 to 2.0 percentage points in six African countries, with 1.6 million people pushed into poverty in Nigeria. Many countries resist passing price increases through to domestic markets, which can magnify increases in world prices.
  • Exchange rates : Exchange rates refer to the value of one currency in relation to another currency. They are determined by the supply and demand for currencies in the global foreign exchange market, and they fluctuate constantly based on various economic and political factors. Exchange rates are important for international trade and investment, as they affect the cost of imports and exports and the value of investments denominated in foreign currencies. Exchange rates can also have significant impacts on a country's economy, including its inflation rate, trade balance, and overall growth and stability. Data sources: IMF
  • Insulation measures: The Nominal Rate of Protection (NRP) measures the extent to which a set of agricultural policies affects the market price of a commodity. It is computed as the price difference, expressed as a percentage, between the farm gate price received by producers and an undistorted reference price at the farm gate level.
  • Input prices: Oil & energy prices: The oil and energy prices are from the Bloomberg.
  • Input prices: Fertilizer prices: The Fertilizer Market Dashboard provides several ways to monitor the latest developments in fertilizer markets, including a summary of market developments and tools for tracking fertilizer trade, utilization, and production.
  • Vulnerability analysis: The Food Import Vulnerability Index (FIVI) facilitates a rapid assessment of the risk to national food security of international food price shocks for 182 countries. Commodity-level FIVI scores indicate the vulnerability of a country to higher world prices for each staple food, while a country’s FIVI measures the vulnerability of the country to higher world food prices in general.

* Next update will be on Feb 7, 2024.

December 2023

  • Hard Wheat: Ample supply and steady shipments from Russia and Ukraine weigh down the hard wheat market to show low volatility.
  • Soft Wheat: Forecasts indicating ample wheat availability from key producers led to a transition in soft wheat prices, shifting from high volatility in November to a more moderate level in December.
  • Maize: Despite improving weather in Brazil and falling oil prices, maize prices continued to exhibit a trend of moderating volatility this month, showcasing resilience in the face of contributing factors to a decline.
  • Soybean: The surplus of old-crop soybeans, along with favorable weather conditions in Brazil, and declining oil prices collectively drove soybean prices to shift towards lower volatility in December.
  • Rice: Rice prices continued to exhibit high volatility, primarily stemming from ongoing worries about supply shortages linked to the El Niño phenomenon in South and Southeast Asia.
  • Sugar: Sugar prices transitioned from high to medium volatility as concerns about low supply from key Asian producers outweighed ample output from Brazil.
  • Coffee: Despite improved global coffee production prospects, prices faced considerable volatility likely due to heightened forecasts for consumption.
  • Cotton: Price volatility for cotton continued low, driven by projections for lower world consumption in 2023-24 compared to previous estimates, coupled with higher forecasts for world-ending stocks.
  • Cocoa: cocoa price volatility remained low in December despite persistent concerns over tight supplies from the key producer region of West Africa.

November 2023

  • Hard wheat: The volatility of hard wheat prices decreased as global supply forecasts for the current marketing year were revised upward.
  • Soft wheat: Amid positive outlooks for ample production, robust demand from China kept soft wheat prices in moderate volatility. 
  • Soybean: Soybean price volatilities remained low as a result of the expected increase in global production year-on-year. 
  • Rice: Rice prices continue to exhibit high volatility, albeit retracting from recent highs, as global production prospects appear more favorable compared to those in late summer. 
  • Maize: Maize prices exhibited moderate volatility this month, despite the significant drop in global prices driven by increased supply from key producers like Argentina and the United States. 
  • Cocoa: Cocoa prices maintained low volatility amidst renewed concerns over tight supplies in the top grower, Ivory Coast. 
  • Coffee: Coffee prices faces high volatility despite enhanced output prospects in Brazil and Colombia. 
  • Sugar: Sugar prices sustained high volatility in November, highlighting that improved output from Brazil does not fully alleviate the weather-related concerns in India. 
  • Cotton: Cotton prices shifted to low volatility due to anticipated reduced demand in China, Turkey, and the United States.

October 2023

  • Hard wheat: High volatility of hard wheat prices persisted due to uncertainty arising from conflicts and reduced production in Ukraine.
  • Soft wheat: As with hard wheat, soft wheat continued to face high price volatility, primarily because of reduced production and uncertainties surrounding crops in the southern hemisphere. 
  • Maize: Maize prices exhibited low volatility, which is attributed to large global harvests and large estimated closing stocks.  
  • Rice: High price volatility persisted due to ongoing production concerns, though the impact of El Niño on production has been less than previously feared. 
  • Soybeans: Soybean prices showed low volatility, credited to ample worldwide production and notable projected closing inventories.
  • Cocoa: Cocoa prices remained in low volatility despite tight supplies and strong global demand. 
  • Coffee: Coffee prices remained in low volatility due to abundant rainfall in Brazil and promising yield predictions for the upcoming year.
  • Cotton: Cotton prices continued to exhibit high volatility despite expectations of a substantial surplus in production for the next year.
  • Sugar: Sugar prices experienced high volatility, driven by droughts in India, triggered by El Niño and bottlenecks in Brazilian ports.

September 2023

  • Rice: High price volatility was mainly driven by recent bans on rice exports and domestic supply restrictions imposed by major Asian producers. Concerns about potential production declines linked to El Niño added further upward pressure on prices. 
  • Soft wheat: Wheat prices experienced high volatility as uncertainties in the Black Sea region persisted, and production in Canada, Australia, and Argentina is forecasted to decline. 
  • Hard wheat: High-protein wheat prices remained highly volatile due to lower supply prospects caused by uncertainties in the Black Sea region and adverse weather conditions. 
  • Maize: High volatility in maize prices were influenced by logistical challenges in Brazil and Argentina, as well as concerns regarding dry planting conditions for the upcoming season. 
  • Soybean: Persistent tight supplies and concerns about yields continued to keep soybean prices highly volatile. 
  • Cocoa: Cocoa prices remained highly volatile primarily due to concerns related to El Niño and the prospect of lower global cocoa production. 
  • Coffee: Improved production prospects for Arabic coffee helped keep price volatility low in September, despite ongoing tight supplies and low inventories. 
  • Cotton: Cotton prices experienced high volatility due to deteriorating production in various regions, including the United States, India, the African Franc Zone, Greece, and Mexico. 
  • Sugar: Anticipated robust supply from Brazil, driven by increased precipitation, contributed to lower price volatility in the sugar market. 

 

August 2023

  • Hard wheat: Price volatility for hard wheat remains high due to uncertainty in Black Sea exports and deterioration of production prospects in several major exporting countries.  
  • Soft Wheat: Similar to hard wheat, high price volatility for soft wheat is stemmed from adverse weather conditions in key exporting countries. 
  •  Maize: Maize prices continued to experience high volatility with mixed production conditions in the US Midwest and dryness in Argentina. However, strong export flows from Brazil likely eased supply concerns.  
  • Rice price volatility was high in August due to the effects of India’s recent export ban were felt in global markets. 
  • Soybean: Soybean price volatility was high in August with the hot and dry weather conditions in the US Midwest and strong international demand. 
  • Coffee: The coffee market has seen relatively low price volatility, thanks to higher coffee yields in Brazil and Vietnam, resulting in ample supply. 
  • Cocoa: Cocoa prices exhibited high volatility in August with crop problems in West Africa forecast to contribute to a global supply deficit. Moreover, inventories have declined.  
  • Sugar: Sugar prices have remained stable, supported by favorable output prospects in major exporting countries such as India and Thailand. 
  • Cotton price: Cotton price showed high volatility due to lower crop yields in India and higher global demand for cotton.  

July 2023

Price volatility in hard wheat was high in July with extreme heat continuing in key producing countries and exports from the Black Sea disrupted following the suspension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative. Soft wheat price volatility was high in July as extreme heat continued in key producing countries and supply concerns increased with the suspension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative. Maize price volatility was high in July. The suspension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative contributed to supply concerns, along with weather swings in the corn belt region of the U.S. Rice price volatility continued at high levels in July due to adverse weather. Top exporter India banned exports, sending prices climbing and contributing to concerns about the outlook for global supplies. Soybean price volatility was high in July with higher Chinese demand prospects in the face of yield concerns in the United States. Sugar price volatility eased to low levels in July with strong Brazilian production prospects. Cotton price volatility remained high in July with stressed crop conditions in the U.S. and lower demand prospects globally. Coffee price volatility eased to low levels in July as conditions for the harvest in Brazil appeared favorable, and output forecasts are optimistic. Coffee price volatility eased to low levels in July as conditions for the harvest in Brazil appeared favorable, and output forecasts are optimistic. 

June 2023

Price volatility in hard wheat was high in June amid weather worries in some key producers such as Argentina, Canada, the EU and the US. Soft wheat price volatility was high in June amid weather worries in some key producers such as Argentina, Canada, the EU and the US. Maize price volatility was high in June amid sharp weather swings in the corn belt region of the US, the world's largest producer and exporter of corn. Rice price volatility continue to be at high levels in June amid concerns over the global supply as El Nino threatens yields in key producers. Importers have started building inventories at higher rates, thus pushing prices higher. Soybean price volatility was high in June amid worries about the adverse impact of hot, dry weather in the US Midwest on yield potential. Cocoa price volatility was low in June despite concerns about lower supplies the world's top cocoa producers, Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana. Coffee price volatility remained high in June amid crop concerns on the impact of El Nino weather patterns on Central and South American coffee producers. Cotton price volatility remained high in June as futures prices fell in anticipation of higher global cotton production. Sugar price volatility remained high in June amid concerns of a tight supply tempered by sluggish global import demand.

May 2023

Price volatility in hard wheat was high in May as futures prices fell amid expectations of larger supplies from Russia, India, the EU, and Ukraine. Soft wheat price volatility was medium in May amid reduced production of soft red winter wheat in the U.S. Maize price volatility was low in May as corn area and yield forecast remain unchanged in the U.S. Corn production is raised in Ukraine and Brazil, and lower under poorer conditions in Argentina. Rice price volatility continue to be at high levels overall in May as increased production in India is offset by reductions in Southeast Asia. Unfavorable weather in China and Pakistan is expected to result in production shortfalls. Soybean price volatility was low overall in May due to a strong supply situation with output recovering in Argentina and increased supply in the U.S. and Brazil. Cocoa price volatility was low in May despite lower supplies from the world's leading cocoa producer, Côte d'Ivoire. Coffee price volatility remained high in May amid crops concerns on the impact of  El Nino weather patterns on Central and South American coffee producers. Cotton price volatility remained high in May as futures prices fell in anticipation of higher global cotton production. Larger crops in the U.S. and Pakistan offset bale reduction in China. Sugar price volatility remained high in May as futures prices fell in anticipation of stronger supply due to weather developments in Brazil, India, and Southeast Asia.

April 2023

Price volatility in hard wheat was low in April. Wheat availability is perceived to be ample as growing conditions appear to be mostly favorable and Russian supply continues to pad international markets. These factors outweighed concerns over the future of the Black Sea Grain Initiative and the ban during April imposed by several Eastern European countries on Ukrainian imports. As with hard wheat, soft wheat price volatility was low in April due to a favorable supply outlook characterized by mostly favorable growing conditions, which outweighed concerns over the future of the Black Sea Grain Initiative. Maize price volatility was low in April due in part to solid planting progress and improved weather in the U.S., as well as expectations of a strong upcoming harvest in Brazil. As with wheat, expected ample availabilities outweighed concerns about the uncertain future of the Black Sea Grain Initiative. Rice price volatility was at high levels overall in April and remains the outlier among major grains. The volatility in rice prices comes as the supply outlook appears increasingly tight, and demand remains strong – particularly from Indonesia. Earlier flooding in Pakistan has reduced availabilities, and production challenges in South and Southeast Asia may emerge soon depending on the timing and strength of the likely upcoming El Niño. Soybean price volatility was low overall in April due to a strong supply situation. Production levels in Brazil are likely to break records, weather has improved in the United States, and crude oil prices are down – which has put downward pressure on soybean oil prices. Cocoa price volatility was high April with lower supplies from Côte d'Ivoire and lower exports from Nigeria. Price volatility was high despite growing inventorie s in port warehouses. Coffee price volatility remained high in April. Despite a likely decline in demand with the prospect of a slowing global economy, supplies remain tight with coffee inventories falling. Cotton price volatility was high in April despite the USDA’s projection of higher ending stocks. Uncertainty around future demand in the face of recession fears may be contributing to the volatility, along with lower expected outturn in India. Sugar price volatility was at high levels in April due to several factors affecting sugar production in major producing countries. 
 

March 2023

Price volatility in soft wheat was low in March as the mid-month extension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative contributed to calm markets, though the announcement by Russia of further conditions for the agreement have since caused uncertainty about the initiative’s future. While the supply outlook is mostly favorable, there were some concerns over poor conditions of incoming cropsthe US winter wheat crop and continued dryness in North Africa. in the United States. As with soft wheat, hard wheat price volatility was low in March as the extension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative eased supply concerns. However, the future of the agreement is still in doubt as Russia announced further conditions for its extension beyond 60 days. Maize price volatility was low in March due in part to the extension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative.  Low export demand due to concerns over the global economic outlook outweighed poor conditions in Argentina and uncertainly over the future of the Black Sea agreement. Rice price volatility was at moderate levels overall in March despite generally favorable growing conditions and no major shifts in demand. Volatility may be the result of the influx of new product in global markets followed by an upturn in buying interest from Indonesia. egardless, this month’s volatility reading should not signal concern. Soybean price volatility was low overall in March with record harvests in Brazil and low demand for US exports.  Cocoa price volatility was moderate overall in March with some concerns over lower supplies from Côte d'Ivoire. Coffee price volatility remained high in March with ongoing global supply concerns. There were downgrades in Arabica production estimates for both Brazil and Columbia. Cotton price volatility was high in March even as production prospects remain strong and demand is forecast to fall. As in the previous month, volatility may have been driven by uncertainty around how much demand will fall amid recession fears. Sugar price volatility was at high levels in March due to the prospects of tight global supplies and strong demand. The announced cut in OPEC+ output sent demand for ethanol soaring. 
 

Feb 2023

Price volatility in soft wheat was low overall in January with updated higher production estimates in several wheat producing countries likely outweighing concerns over the continuing war in Urkaine and uncertainty over the future of the Black Sea Grain Initiative. As with soft wheat, hard wheat price volatility was low overall in February with higher production estimates in several wheat producing countries. This was likely enough to offset concerns over production prospects in Ukraine, and current shipments already running about a third behind the previous season according to Bloomberg. 

Maize price volatility was low overall in February. As with wheat, low volatility suggests sufficient global maize supplies even as dry weather has impacted production in Argentina and the future of the Black Sea export corridor is uncertain. There was slack demand from exporters in the U.S.

Rice price volatility was low overall in February. Prices varied little as buyers generally waited for the new crop to arrive on the market. The USDA outlook is for larger supplies, consumption, trade, and ending stocks.

Soybean price volatility was moderate overall in February as stocks of last year’s crop tightened in the U.S. and production concerns persist in Argentina over dry weather. However, the solid outturn in Brazil likely dampened volatility compared to what it would have been.

Cocoa price volatility was moderate overall in February over supply tightness in top producer Côte d'Ivoire.

Coffee price volatility remained high in February following a poor crop in Colombia last year and ongoing concerns about production in the world’s top exporter Brazil.

Cotton price volatility was high in February despite strong inventories and decent production prospects. Volatility was possibly driven by uncertainty around how much demand will fall amid recession fears.

Sugar price volatility was at high levels in February on the prospects of reduced global output.