Prospects for continuing large global supplies kept international prices of wheat and maize under downward pressure in March. Export prices of rice in Asia generally firmed, but they were still down in March compared to the same period last year.
In East Africa, coarse grain prices rose further in March, sustaining the already high levels, particularly in South Sudan. In Southern Africa, despite some declines in South Africa, prices remained well above their year-earlier values, reflecting tight supplies and poor 2016 production prospects. In West Africa, in Nigeria, sharp price increases continued mainly due to the depreciation of the national currency.
In South America, currency weakness in several countries maintained upward pressure on cereal prices, which remained at relatively high levels, particularly in Argentina and Brazil. In Colombia, the depreciation of the national currency coupled with this year's unfavourable production outlook pushed prices of rice to record highs in March.