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West Africa Regional Supply and Market Outlook, December 21st, 2021

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  • Regionally validated crop production data forecast aggregate cereal production at 73.3 million metric tons (MT) for 2021/22, which will be a decrease of two percent compared to the previous year (2020/21) and an increase of three percent compared to the previous five-year average (2016/17 to 2020/21). Specific production decreases compared to last year were reported mainly in Sahel countries due to unfavorable rainfall patterns and insecurity. Maize production is expected to increase from last year, rice production will remain stable, but sorghum and millet production will decline (Figure 1). Production trends of roots and tubers are projected to be above last year and five-year averages. Most cash and industrial crops will also record aboveaverage production, except for cowpeas and palm oil.

  • Regional self-sufficiency with coarse grains (maize, millet, sorghum, and fonio) will continue, but the estimated marketable surplus for the 2021/22 marketing year (MY), which spans from October 2021 to September 2022, will be entirely below both last year and the average. At the same time, regional structural dependence on international rice and wheat imports will strengthen with projected rising requirements than previous years (Figure 2).

  • Market supplies in several countries remain below average due to lower carryover stocks, reduced crop production, and limited trade flows, while demand is above average due to increased replenishment of stocks and expanding local industrial purchases. Hence, local staple prices are projected to be above average. Prices for imported commodities will be pushed up by high import costs and unfavorable exchange rates. Price increases could reach pressuring levels and thus affect food access, especially for urban households and households in deficit and insecure areas.

  • In addition to insecurity limiting access to pastoral resources, biomass production is below last year in much of the Sahel. Livestock market supplies remain dynamic, but cross-border demand is below average. Prices have increased to near or above average for small ruminants, but cattle prices remained stable or lower due to reduced exports.

  • Following the COVID-19 related shocks in 2020, most countries have growth prospects in 2021 and 2022, mainly due to increased exports and higher commodity prices. However, there are uncertainties given the potential resurgence of COVID-19 cases with Omicron variant and a return of restrictions, the fall of global oil prices, insecurity, political instability, further decline in remittances, and currency depreciation and inflation.