Global crop prices below last year’s levels, some spikes at the country level
This article on the Food Security Portal states that international cereal prices remain significantly below last year’s levels due to abundant global supplies and strong export competition. While the Food Price Monitoring and Analysis (PDF) of FAO shows that cereal prices are low, the regional story is more mixed. Grain prices continued to decline in most West African countries, but maize prices have soared throughout southern Africa, particularly South Africa and Malawi. In addition, rice prices were slightly more varied depending on their origin; prices rose slightly for Thai 100%B white rice but fell for rice from Vietnam, India, and the US. Major producers in South America are experiencing some weather-driven price shocks. Reduced 2015 wheat yields and depreciating currencies have sent wheat prices upward in recent months in several countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Bolivia. In Chile, on the other hand, prices of wheat and wheat flour remained largely unchanged in January due to a good 2015 harvest. The FAO report records several domestic price warnings. These warnings are included when one or more of a country’s basic food commodity is seeing abnormally high levels that could potentially have negative effects on food security. This month’s warnings impact Brazil, Argentina, Haiti, Honduras, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia for maize, Indonesia for rice, and the Dominican Republic for beans.