In West Africa, market availability was adequate in May, with supplies from recent 2014/15 harvests and international rice and wheat imports. Staple food prices were stable or declining, except in areas directly and indirectly affected by the conflict in northeastern Nigeria. The recent opening of borders among Ebola-affected countries contributed to improved trade flows in some areas, following disruptions over the second half of 2014.
In East Africa, maize prices increased seasonally in surplus-producing Uganda and in Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya. Maize prices were stable or began decreasing in Tanzania with the onset of the May-to-August harvests. Sorghum prices were stable in Sudan and Somalia. Staple food prices were high and variable in the Greater Upper Nile States of South Sudan.
Conflict and insecurity continued to disrupt markets in parts of South Sudan, Somalia, the Darfur and South Kordofan States in Sudan, and across Yemen.
In Southern Africa, regional staple food availability increased in May as fresh supplies from recent harvests arrived onto markets across the region. Production during the 2014/15 production year is estimated to be below-average in the region’s surplus-producing countries and at the regional level. Maize prices varied across the region, decreasing seasonally in Zambia and Mozambique, and varying considerably elsewhere.
In Central Asia, wheat availability remained good in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Prices remained stable in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan after increasing over the last quarter of 2014.
International maize, rice, wheat, and soybean prices were stable and below their respective 2014 levels. Global markets are wellsupplied global markets from record or near-record global production in 2014 and overall favorable prospects for 2015 crops. Crude oil prices increased again in May, but remained belowaverage.