Markets and Trade

Across the developing world, populations—both urban and rural—rely on markets for food and income. The production, trade, and distribution systems 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 and access to food. Understanding current and projected market, trade, and price trends is critical to the success of FEWS NET’s integrated food security analysis. The Structure-Conduct-Performance analytical framework guides the FEWS NET approach to markets and trade analysis.

FEWS NET’s markets and trade knowledge base is the starting point for understanding the market context. Core products include a large price database, national and regional production and trade flow maps, and Market Fundamentals Reports. These reports provide decision makers and organizations with an overview of the structure, conduct, and performance of markets, and provide the foundation for an annual market monitoring plan.

FEWS NET regularly monitors and reports on local staple food availability, prices, regional trade flows, and macroeconomic drivers. Monthly marketing reports, Price Bulletins, the Price Watch, Supply and Market Outlook reports, and Cross-Border Trade reports are regularly produced. Additionally, FEWS NET conducts Enhanced Market Analysis in select countries, focused on providing food assistance modality choice decision support. 

With information from the knowledge base along with market monitoring data, the markets and trade sector contributes key inputs into scenario development, FEWS NET’s methodology to develop food security projections. Market specialists collaborate with food security analysts to integrate assumptions on production and commodity balances, trade flows, and prices into FEWS NET’s analysis. Price projections may also be produced, and take into consideration key market drivers (fundamentals analysis) and historical price trends analysis (technical analysis).

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. This network includes national ministries of agriculture, statistical offices, and market information systems, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the World Food Program, and others. In a handful of countries, FEWS NET has teams of market monitors who collect data.

Products

Market Knowledge Base

Market Fundamentals Reports

Market Fundamentals Reports provide an overview of staple food, cash crop, livestock, and/or labor marketing systems in FEWS NET countries and regions. The reports culminate in a regular market monitoring plan.

Market Fundamentals Reports

Enhanced Market Analysis

Enhanced Market Analysis reports present research findings from USAID-commissioned studies that provide an evidence base to inform response analysis in selected countries, which include but are not limited to Congressional-mandated Bellmon Analyses.

Enhanced Market Analysis

Production & Trade Flow Maps

Production and Trade Flow Maps capture the geography of market networks for a product in a given country or region, including surplus and deficit areas, key market towns and cross border trade points, and trade flows.

Production & Trade 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.

Seasonal Market Monitoring

Supply and Market Outlook

Supply and Market Outlook Reports summarize the staple food availability, surpluses, and deficits during the current marketing year, and projected market behavior. The reports culminate in an annual market monitoring plan.

Supply and Market Outlook

Cross-Border Trade Report

Cross-Border Trade Reports offer a periodic summary on trade flow patterns in a given country or region. They usually focus on informal trade, although trade policies and formal trade patterns are also considered.

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.

Monthly Market Monitoring

Price Watch

Price Watch Reports offer a monthly summary and outlook on staple food, cash crop, and/or livestock market trends in all FEWS NET countries, as well as globally relevant trends. Macroeconomic developments are also reported on.

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 Bulletin

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

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.

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About FEWS NET

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.