Reflecting the good 2012 cereal crops recently harvested, markets are generally well supplied and sorghum and millet prices have declined significantly in Sahelian countries in recent months.
Similarly, in the coastal countries along the Gulf of Guinea, prices of maize, the staple cereal decreased substantially. With the exception of few markets, prices in January and December were below or around their levels of a year earlier. Prices of imported rice, mainly consumed in urban centres, have remained stable in past months in both the Sahel and the coastal countries.
In Mali and Burkina Faso, prices of millet and sorghum continued their downward movement through January 2013 in most markets and were well below their levels a year earlier.
In Niger, millet prices were stable in January in the capital Niamey, and increased in some markets, due to the beginning of institutional purchases in the country. Seasonal declines in coarse grain prices were less notable in a few countries due to various reasons.
In Chad, in the main market of Nâ€™Djamena, millet prices that have been following an upward trend since early 2012, declined only slightly during the harvest period. In December 2012, millet prices were 46 percent up on their levels of a year earlier. Internal trade restriction has reduced
the flow of commodities between deficit and surplus areas of the country and contributed to higher prices in the capital city.
The same trend was observed in Senegal, where millet prices declined with the harvest but in December 2012 were still above the previous yearâ€™s high level, notably in the capital city Dakar. The ongoing marketing of main cash crop groundnut has reportedly resulted in limited coarse grains supplies from farmers. Prices of imported rice, the main staple in the country, have stabilized since mid-2012 following Government interventions and recent trends in international markets. However, in December 2012 rice prices were still well above their levels in December 2011.
Overall, cereal prices in the Sahelian countries were lower or around their levels of January last year.
In coastal countries, in Nigeria, maize prices in Kano, the most important city in the northern part of the country, rebounded in the past two months after falling sharply with the 2012 harvest
but were still below their levels of a year earlier. In other markets, coarse grain prices declined or stabilized.
In Benin and Ghana, prices of maize in December 2012 remained generally stable after significant declines in previous months with the arrival of the new harvests. Overall, prices were
well below those in December 2011.
In Mauritania, prices of main staple imported wheat fell markedly in December 2012 and were lower than their levels at the same time a year earlier. This decline reflects the trend in international prices in recent months.