There was an upward trend in global cereal prices in March 2022, partly because of the Ukraine crisis, which halted shipments of grain and fuel through the Black Sea but also due to concerns over crop conditions in the United States of America. Global cereal prices will likely remain high in the coming months.
Staple food prices in most markets across Eastern Africa trended seasonally above long-term trends, with the highest price increase observed in Ethiopia, Somalia, and Sudan during the reporting period (2022Q1). Drought, conflict, the Ukraine crisis and macro-economic challenges were the key drivers of high food prices
In Southern Somalia where risk of famine has been flagged, sorghum and maize prices are higher than levels observed during the 2016/17 drought and the 2008 global food price crisis and are fast approaching the 2011 famine record peak.
While headline inflation increased during 2022Q1 in most of the countries, the food inflation accelerated even more rapidly on the backdrop of weaker currencies and mounting macro-economic challenges.
There is a growing concern that renewed inflationary pressure on essential supplies could potentially reach or surpass the 2008 global food price crisis levels in most countries in the region. The uncertainty over the crop prospects of the 2022 long season will aggravate the pre-existing financial and macro-economic vulnerabilities.