The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) monitors trends in staple food prices in countries vulnerable to food insecurity. For each FEWS NET country and region, the Price Bulletin provides a set of charts showing monthly prices in the current marketing year in selected urban centers and allowing users to compare current trends with both five-year average prices, indicative of seasonal trends, and prices in the previous year.
Wheat is the dominant staple food across Central Asia, and rice is an important substitute. Kazakhstan is the net wheat exporter within the region. Pakistan is considered self-sufficient and exports in exceptionally good years, mostly to Afghanistan and other Asian countries. In Kazakhstan, Saryagash Station serves as a key source market for wheat exports to Afghanistan and other neighboring countries. In Afghanistan, Kabul supplies the central provinces and is a transit point between the north, south, east, and west. Jalalabad supplies the eastern part of the country and acts as a cross-border market with Pakistan. Mazare-Sarif supplies northern provinces and, in a good year, the southern provinces as well. Kandahar supplies the southwestern part of the country where drought, civil insecurity, and war often hinder market activity. In Pakistan, Lahore is a key market for trade within the region, particularly with Afghanistan. Pakistan accounts for about 70 percent of regional rice production, which is exported to regional and international markets.