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Food Price Monitoring and Analysis (FPMA) Bulletin #10, 14 December 2022

Monthly Report on Food Price Trends












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    International prices of wheat and maize declined in April 2023 while rice prices increased. Ample supplies, strong export competition and generally favourable crop conditions in the European Union weighed on wheat prices, while ongoing harvests in South America underpinned the decline in maize prices. Rice export quotations reversed most of the declines that they registered in March 2023. Domestic staple food prices were generally sustained at higher year-on-year levels in April 2023, in most of the countries monitored by FAO, attaining record highs in some cases. Conflict and insecurity, adverse weather and currency weaknesses remain key drivers. However, on a month‑on‑month basis, seasonal harvest pressures eased some staple food prices in parts of South America, Southern Africa, East Africa and East Asia, while high levels of wheat stocks continue to support softening wheat and wheat flour prices in CIS (Asia and Europe).
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    Seasonal supplies continued to weigh on the world prices of wheat and maize in August 2023, as their harvesting operations were concluded in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere, respectively. By contrast, international rice prices rose to their highest level in 15 years, in nominal terms, largely reflecting trade disruptions registered in the aftermath of India’s July ban on Indica white rice exports. In most countries monitored by FAO, domestic prices of basic food commodities persisted at year-on-year higher levels in July and August 2023 due to the impact of conflict and insecurity, adverse weather, high prices of agricultural inputs, elevated distribution costs and currency weaknesses. On a monthly basis, domestic rice prices increased seasonally in most countries in East Asia, while supplies from 2023 harvests supported a decline in maize prices in Southern Africa and South America. In Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia countries and in East Asia, ample carryover stocks and supplies from recent harvests underpinned month-on-month declines in wheat and wheat flour prices.
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    International cereal price trends were mixed in September 2023. Maize prices have increased, reflecting a variety of different factors in the major exporting countries, while wheat prices continued to ease as harvests came to an end in the Northern Hemisphere. Meanwhile, generally subdued import demand slightly lowered international rice prices, amid lingering uncertainties regarding India’s rice export policy and progressively thinning supplies in various exporters. In most countries monitored by FAO, domestic staple food prices in September 2023 remained above their year-earlier levels. Rising energy prices continued to support higher transport and distribution costs, while currency weakness contributed to inflate import costs. Insecurity and conflict have remained important contributory factors to food price increases in Haiti and parts of East and West Africa, while the prevailing El Niño phenomenon is raising concerns over prospects for the 2023/24 crop production in parts of Asia and Southern Africa.

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