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Regional Supply and Market Outlook Reports

Central America | October 2017

East Africa | September 2017

Southern Africa | August 2017


Key Messages from the October 2017 Global Price Watch (reporting on September 2017 prices):

  • In West Africa, regional staple food production during the 2016/17 marketing year was well above average. International imports along with institutional subsidized sales supported market supplies. Prices were stable at seasonally high levels as the marketing year concluded in September. Pastoral conditions improved in the eastern and central marketing basins. Market anomalies remain concentrated in the eastern marketing basin, including but not limited to: conflict-related market disruptions in the Lake Chad basin, localized above-average grain deficits in Niger, and trade disruptions related to the depreciation of the Naira and various government measures.

  • In East Africamaize supplies are generally below-average, causing above-average prices across most of the region. Staple food price levels are especially high in South Sudan. Markets remain severely disrupted by insecurity and significant macro-economic issues in Yemen and South Sudan, impeding staple food supply access. Harvests are coming to an edn in Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda, and are about to begin in Kenya. Supplies are seasonally low in Ethiopia and Sudan as the lean season progresses.

  • In Southern Africa, maize availability is average to above average following recent above average regional harvests. After reaching very high levels in 2016, maize prices followed seasonal trends in August and are at or below their respective 2016 and average levels many areas. Maize grain is generally able to circulate between surplus and deficit areas without major trade restrictions. Export parity prices are competitive, encouraging exports to East Africa (from Zambia, South Africa, and Malawi) and international markets (from South Africa).

  • In Central America, markets remain well supplied as the main maize harvest (Primera season) continued and is estimated to be average to above-average. Maize and bean prices were generally seasonally stable or decreasing, and near or below average levels across the region. In Haiti, local maize and bean supplies began tightening with the start of été season planting. Imported rice prices were mostly stable while the Haitian gourde experienced a moderate depreciation against the USD.  

  • Central Asia sustained adequate supplies. Wheat prices generally remained stable in the region but declined slightly in exporting countries. The main harvest is nearly complete and production forecasts remain largely unchanged from last month.

  • International staple food markets remain well supplied. Rice and maize prices fell, wheat prices were generally firm, while soybean prices increased. Crude oil prices rose for the second consecutive month to levels above September 2016 prices.

Markets & Trade Products

Price Watch

About Price Watch

Price Watch offers a monthly summary and outlook on global, regional and national trends of key commodity prices in FEWS NET countries. Analysis may touch on global issues, such as fuel prices or exchange rates, if they are likely to influence staple food prices in FEWS NET countries. The accompanying Price Watch Annex details price trends by country.

Price Bulletins

About Price Bulletin

Price Bulletins are produced monthly and available by country. They provide graphs tracking the prices of commodities that are important locally.

Cross Border Trade Reports

About Cross Border Trade Reports

Cross Border Trade Reports are periodic documents on trade from country to country or in a region, usually addressing the exchange of food commodities at selected border points.

Production and Market Flow Maps

About Production and Trade Flow Maps

Production and Trade Flow Maps capture the market networks for a product in a given country or region, including their catchments and trade flow patterns. These maps are available for key products in most FEWS NET countries.

About Market & Trade

Across the developing world today, huge majorities of poor people—both urban and rural—rely on markets for staple foods.

Even small holders who produce their own food may rely on markets to add diversity to their diets or to supplement their stocks during lean periods. They may also count on markets to sell crops, trade assets such as livestock, or find casual labor opportunities. The trade flows that support these markets are powerful forces, influenced by suppliers, traders, and buyers responding to changes in supply and demand, ultimately determining prices and the availability of food. 

FEWS NET conducts regular analysis of markets and trade, monitoring local staple food prices and regional trade flows as well as macroeconomic drivers. This work centers on countries where we conduct regular food security analysis, as well as selected others, such as South Africa and Kazakhstan, whose markets greatly influence those of their neighbors. For each country, FEWS NET specialists consider products of local importance, looking at major production and consumption markets. Monthly reports, known for their objectivity and accessibility, are published on this website and distributed by subscriber list.

Women buying fresh green vegetables at a West African marketIn addition, our market specialists collaborate with food security analysts to integrate assumptions on trade flows and prices into FEWS NET’s monthly early warning analysis. As warranted, the team conducts more extensive price projections using fundamentals analysis of market drivers and technical analysis of historical price data.

FEWS NET cooperates closely with a network of food, agricultural and economic entities, relying on them for expertise as well as data on prices and other economic indicators. They include: national ministries of agriculture, statistical offices and market information systems; the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO); the World Food Program (WFP); and others. In a handful of countries, FEWS NET has teams of market monitors who collect data.

Along with the regular reporting, FEWS NET also offers a series of clear, concise guidance documents to explain the basics of markets and trade analysis, assessment, and monitoring.


The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on some 34 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, and USGS, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica. Read more about our work.

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