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Global Price Watch: October 2020 Prices (November 30, 2020)

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  • In West Africa, cereal and legume market supplies continued increasing during October at the start of the 2020/21 marketing year. At the same time demand decreased with the availability of household stocks. Insecurity-related market disruptions persisted in the Greater Lake Chad basin, the Liptako-Gourma region, the Tibesti region, northeast and northcentral Nigeria, and the Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon. Prices were seasonally stable or decreasing compared to the previous month, but still above average across much of the region due to localized deficits and trade restrictions. The Nigerian economy entered its second recession since 2016, and inflation rose for the 14th consecutive month (Page 3).

  • In East Africa, staple food price trends varied across the region along with local harvest patterns. Maize prices declined with the progression or onset of harvests in Kenya, northeastern Uganda, South Sudan, and Ethiopia. Sorghum prices began declining seasonally in parts of Sudan and South Sudan. Livestock prices remained stable or increased at already elevated levels due to good animal body conditions and the availability of water and feed in pastoral areas. COVID-19 truck driver screenings of truck drivers continued to add cost to cross-border trade and border delays. Deteriorating macroeconomic conditions have contributed to persistently high and increasing prices in number of countries (Page 4).

  • In Southern Africa, markets were well supplied with maize in most countries of the region as the 2020/21 marketing year progressed. Prices varied seasonally in many countries. South Africa continued exporting maize internationally and to structurally-deficit countries of the region. In Zimbabwe local production deficits coupled with deteriorating macroeconomic conditions have led to persistently increasing prices. Zambia maintained a ban on formal maize exports but continued exporting via informal channels due to favorable prices in neighboring countries (Page 5).

  • In Central America, maize and bean supplies were at average to above-average levels in October, supported by ongoing 2020 primera season harvests and imports. Maize and bean prices were decreasing on average. In Haiti, staple food supplies were at average levels in October. Local and imported staple food prices decreased sharply in October as the HTG appreciated against the USD (Page 6).

  • In Central Asia, wheat prices were stable or decreasing on average in Afghanistan and Kazakhstan, while wheat prices increased in Pakistan. In Yemen, the broader conflict and macroeconomic context continued to disrupt overall market functioning and food access, with staple food and fuel prices remaining above-average levels (Page 7).

  • International staple food markets are well supplied. Wheat, maize, and soybean prices increased in October, while rice prices were stable or decreasing (Figure 2). Global crude oil prices were stable in October on expectations for reduced demand as COVID-19 cases started to increase worldwide. Global fertilizer prices were on average stable in October (Page 2).