(formerly IRIN News) Journalism from the heart of crises

Stable cereal prices in West Africa expected until May

Nigerien cereal bank stock, outside of Zinder, August 2008.
Phuong Tran/IRIN

FEWS NET, the USA-funded food security monitoring organisation, has reported that coastal harvests have brought cereal prices in West Africa down from an abnormal spike in January. But prices – expected to remain stable through April – are still higher than the five-year average.

Despite bumper harvests in 2008 the higher cost of living and transport, producers’ growing profit margins and competition between traders and governments building up their cereal stocks have pushed up demand – and prices – before the lean season, according to FEWS NET (Famine Early Warning System Network).

While price hikes are good for producers and traders, they cut the buying power of poor urban households and pastoralists, wrote the food monitoring group in its alert.


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