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    Staple food prices to remain high through 2022

    A vegetable stall in the outskirts of Nairobi Kenya 2

    By George Munene

    Staple food prices in East Africa are expected to remain above average for the remainder of 2022 due to anticipated below-average harvests; high costs of production including fuel and fertilizers cost in Kenya, Burundi, Ethiopia, Sudan, and S.Sudan; below-average stored stocks; and localized market disruptions due to insecurity in Sudan, S.Sudan, and Ethiopia.

    According to data from the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), enduring currency depreciation and a lack of hard currency are also making it more expensive to acquire agro-commodities.

    Maize prices increased in Uganda and parts of Tanzania due to supply from the below-average June to July harvest and regional imports. 

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    Strong East Africa demand for maize caused by the drought continued to alter regional trade patterns. Many East African nations imported maize from Southern Africa (Tanzania, South Africa, Zambia, Mozambique) despite a double-digit harvest decline, causing an atypical increase in the price of maize in local markets of exporting countries. 

    In Kenya, livestock prices were stable due to improved fodder availability but prices were significantly above last year's and the five-year average. 

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    International Markets

    Global staple food prices decreased due to seasonal supply increases from harvests and the new agreement to open Ukraine’s seaports, and reduced market volatility. 

    Global fuel and fertilizer prices declined driven by softening global demand. 

    However, all prices remain above last year and the five-year average.

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