For the fourth consecutive year, aggregate regional cereal production (milled rice, maize, and millet/sorghum) is projected to increase during the 2017/18 marketing year (MY). This trend is supported by favorable agro-climatic conditions, increased area planted, improved seeds, and agricultural programs and policies. Above average regional production will contribute to filling local deficits. Rice and maize production have expanded, while millet and sorghum production have stagnated.
West Africa is expected to have a gross marketable surplus of 2.2 million metric tons (MMT) of cereals. The region remains structurally-deficit with respect to rice, despite growth in rice production and decreasing regional rice imports. Rice and wheat Imports will persist from well-supplied international markets.
During the second half of MY 2016/17, staple food prices unexpectedly increased across much of the central basin. This was driven by localized deficits and early depletion of stocks due to atypically high demand from Niger (normally be filled by Nigeria). At the beginning of MY 2017/18, staple food prices remain above the recent five-year average. The depreciation of local currencies across the region’s coastal countries and resulting impacts on the cost of imports also contribute to higher prices. Staple food prices will be above average in most countries throughout MY 2017/18, except in Chad. Nigeria’s macroeconomic situation has slowly improved, but prices remain elevated and inflation remains high.
Pastoral conditions are characterized by below average forage and water availability in the major livestock producing countries (Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Chad). The pastoral lean season is expected to begin early. High projected cereal prices will contribute to relatively low livestock to cereal terms of trade (ToT).
Cereal harvests in the Greater Lake Chad basin are expected to be below average, with major deficits anticipated in the typically surplus-producing Far North Region of Cameroon. Several markets remain closed or function at reduced levels across the basin. Prices are expected to be elevated. Many households will remain in need of humanitarian assistance through the 2017/18 lean season.
Regional institutional procurement is expected to take place at normal levels across the region, except in Niger where the planned institutional purchase quantities will be above average. Local and regional procurement may be feasible, primarily in the Central Basin, but could drive projected prices higher.