Markets & Trade


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Regional Supply and Market Outlook Reports

Southern Africa | January 2017

West Africa | December 2016

Central Asia | November 2016


Key Messages from the May 2017 Global Price Watch (reporting on April 2017 prices):

  • In West Africa, regional staple food production during the 2016/17 marketing year was well above average. International rice and wheat imports continue to support regional market supplies. Prices continued to increase seasonally in many areas, as household stocks depleted and market purchases intensified. Current 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 the impacts of the continued depreciation of the Naira.

  • In East Africa, staple food supplies remain tight and prices well above-average in South Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen. Markets remain severely disrupted by insecurity in Yemen and South Sudan. Import capacity in Yemen is uncertain, and food availability may be constrained in the coming months. Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania are also facing below-average staple food supply and above-average and increasing prices following poor harvests.

  • In Southern Africa, regional maize availability continued to improve in April with the progression of the 2016/17 production season. Regional maize production prospects for the current season are good with record-high harvests anticipated in South Africa. Maize prices were stable or declined in April, and are below their respective 2016 levels in many areas. The exception to these trends is in Tanzania, where supplies are tight and prices continue to increase in the central and northern areas of the countries.

  • In Central America, local maize availability continued to decline following the end of the recent Postrera harvest, while bean supplies from the Apante harvest continued to supply markets. Maize and bean prices were seasonally stable or decreasing across the region, with varied trends compared to average levels. In Haiti, local maize and bean prices saw a modest decrease from their March levels but continue to remain well above average levels (Page 6). Imported rice prices remain stable despite the depreciation of the Gourde.  The recent removal of fuel subsidies has increased transportation costs and will place an upward pressure on staple food prices in the coming months.

  • Central Asia sustained adequate supplies. Wheat prices in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan remained stable and near 2016 levels. Rice prices in Pakistan increased following greater export demand, affecting also rice prices in Afghanistan. Intraregional trade is expected to fill staple food deficits in importing countries.

  • International staple food markets remain well supplied. Maize, wheat and soybean prices fell, while rice prices remained firm. Crude oil prices increased and remain well below average.

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.