YEMEN MONTHLY MARKET WATCH OCTOBER 2012

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1 Highlights YEMEN MONTHLY MARKET WATCH OCTOBER 2012 The country level general inflation further escalated to 5.96% and food inflation stood at 9.68% in September 2012, based on 12 months moving average. The general consumer price index (CPI) during that same month was recorded to be while the food CPI was and that of cereals stood at In October 2012, the wholesale prices of wheat and wheat flour have stabilized at their peak levels reported in September, which was the highest since January. The average price of wheat flour recorded at 5,500YR while that of wheat remained at 4,850YR. The average nominal retail price of wheat was 117YR/Kg in October 2012, which has slightly decreased from the level in September (120YR/Kg), while average retail price of wheat flour has remained unchanged during the same period (132YR/Kg). The supply of staple food commodities within most of the monitored markets has continued to be normal during October 2012, with the exception of few areas in the southern and northern parts of the country where the security situation has deteriorated in recent months. The average TOT between a daily unskilled labour wage and wheat flour stood at 23.4Kg/day in October 2012 which was improved by 22% compared to the level in the previous month (19.2Kg/day). The average TOT between a sheep and wheat flour was 365Kg/sheep in October which was higher by 39% than that recorded in the previous month (263Kg/sheep). The FAO Food Price Index averaged 213 points in October 2012, down 2 points (1%) from September. The decline is largely due to reduced international prices of cereals and oils/fats. The FAO Cereal Price Index averaged 259 points in October, down 3 points (1.2%) from September and 12% higher compared to same time last year. International wheat prices showed a declining trend in the beginning of October 2012 but steadily increased towards the end of the month that resulted in a slight increment on the overall average price during the month. A. Inflation and Consumer Price Index (CPI) The country level general inflation further escalated to 5.96% and food inflation stood at 9.68% in September 2012, based on 12 months moving average. The general consumer price index during that same month was recorded to be while the food CPI was and that of cereals stood at , all increased by 2.3%, 1.7% and 5.1%, respectively, from their increasingly high levels in August 2012 (Figure 1). During September 2012, except the index for sugar which declined by 2.0%, indices for all of the other food items have increased between 7.8% (for food oil) and 28.5% (for vegetables) compared to the level same month last year. Figure 1: Trends of consumer price index Source: Central Statistics Organization of Yemen For further comments/inquiries please contact or Page 1 of 5

2 However, compared to the levels during the previous month, the CPI for all except fruits remained almost unchanged while that for fruits showed further increase by 2.2% during September B. Wholesale Prices of Wheat and Wheat Flour In October 2012, the wholesale prices of wheat and wheat flour have stabilized at their peak levels reported in September, which was the highest since January. The average price of wheat flour recorded at 5,500YR while that of wheat remained at 4,850YR in October, according to the information collected from the main urban trading centres that serve as distribution hubs for the various districts and governorates located at their proximity (Figure 2 and 3). The stabilization of the wholesale prices could be mainly due to the adequate imported stocks available in the country that is believed to cover the country s consumption requirement until the end of the year. Figure 2: National average Wheat flour price (YR/50kg) Figure 3: National average Wheat price (YR/50kg) Source: Ministry of Trade and Industry of Yemen Source: Ministry of Trade and Industry of Yemen On the other hand, the wholesale prices of most commodities in October 2012 have remained unchanged compared to the levels recorded in the previous month, although prices of sugar and red bean saw 2.5% and 2.8% reduction while that of cooking oil increased by 5.2% during the reporting period. C. Retail Prices of Wheat and Wheat Flour The average nominal retail price of wheat was 117YR/Kg in October 2012, which has slightly decreased from the level in September (120YR/Kg), while average retail price of wheat flour has remained unchanged during the same period (132YR/Kg) (Figure 4 and 5). During the reporting month, retail price of wheat in Hodieda was the lowest (100YR/Kg) and highest in Sana a (130YR/Kg). The retail price of wheat flour was recorded at 130YR/Kg in all markets except that in Sana a where the price was reported to be 140YR/Kg. The price variations between different markets depend mainly on variations in quality, their relative distance from port and on transportation costs. Figure 4: Trends of wheat retail price (YR/kg) Figure 5: Trends of wheat flour retail price (YR/kg) Source: WFP sub offices Source: WFP sub offices For further comments/inquiries please contact or Page 2 of 5

3 D. Supply to Markets The supply of staple food commodities within most of the monitored markets has continued to be normal during October 2012, with the exception of few areas in the southern and northern parts of the country where the security situation has deteriorated in recent months. According to the latest information from Ministry of Trade and Industry, the current amount of imported wheat stock in the country will be sufficient for the country s consumption needs until end of As a result, there is no major concern on supply related challenges during the coming few months, in spite of the prevailing high level of international wheat prices. E. Terms of Trade (TOT) 1 The terms of trade (TOT) are proxy indicators of the purchasing power of households relying on livestock and/or casual labour as main income to purchase cereals from the market. Terms of trade are important components of food security analysis, more importantly for countries like Yemen where over 90% of the food is imported and the majority of the population is market dependent. Hence, analyzing terms of trade across different markets between wage labour and commodities is indicative of the trends in purchasing power of cash wages and of income from livestock sales as well as impact on food security. TOT for wage labour to wheat flour The nominal average daily wage rate in the monitored markets has improved in October 2012 and reached to 3,083YR which was 2,533YR in September, with some variations among the markets. During the month under reporting, the wage rates ranged from 2,000YR (in Aden) to 4,000YR observed in Hajja and Amran markets. The average TOT between a daily unskilled labour wage and wheat flour stood at 23.4Kg/day in October 2012 which was improved by 22% compared to the level in the previous month (19.2Kg/day). While the TOT in Sana a and Sa ada remained unchanged and that of Aden slightly declined, all the other three markets showed improved TOT between September and October 2012 (Figure 6). TOT for sheep to wheat flour During October 2012, the average price of a two-year old male sheep 48,083YR and ranged from 45,000YR in Aden and Hodieda to as high as 52,000 in Sana a market. The average TOT between a sheep and wheat flour was 365Kg/sheep in October which was higher by 39% than that recorded in the previous month (263Kg/sheep). The highest TOT of the month was recorded at Sa ada (385Kg/Sheep) and the lowest was observed in Aden and Hodieda (246Kg/Sheep) (Figure 7). Figure 6: TOT between wage labour and wheat flour Figure 7: TOT between sheep and wheat flour Source: WFP sub office Source: WFP sub office 1 The terms of trade (TOT) is a measure of the relative value of one commodity to another (or the inverse of their relative prices) and thus a measure of the exchange value of the good or service to be traded. Wage to cereal terms of trade is a standard indicator for purchasing power. The livestock to cereal ratio gives an indication of the purchasing power of households selling livestock and purchasing staple foods. Purchasing power is a measurement of the relative value of money in terms of the quality and quantity of goods and services it can buy. It represents the ability of a household to acquire goods and services based on its access to money or other forms of wealth. For further comments/inquiries please contact or Page 3 of 5

4 F. Global Food Prices The FAO Food Price Index averaged 213 points in October 2012, down 2 points (1%) from September. The decline is largely due to Figure 8: Trends of food and cereals price indices reduced international prices of cereals and oils/fats which more than offset increases in sugar and dairy prices while meat values remained unchanged. Food prices averaged 8 percent lower during the first ten months of this year compared to the same period last year (Figure 8). The FAO Cereal Price Index averaged 259 points in October, down 3 points (1.2%) from September Compared to October 2011, the FAO Cereal Price Index is 12% higher, mostly on a 16 percent increase in wheat and coarse grains, while rice quotations were down by almost 4%. The cereal price index is still 15 points (5.4%) below its peak of 274 points registered in April 2008 (Figure 8). Data Source: Although international wheat prices Figure 9: Trend in global wheat prices (USD/MT) showed a declining trend in the beginning of October 2012, they started to steadily increase towards the end of the month, resulting in a slight increment on the overall monthly average price (Figure 9). However, the fluctuations and the minor increase of wheat prices during the month were too small to affect the domestic market in Yemen. Nonetheless, international wheat prices remained at the high levels that have prevailed since prices suddenly rose in July Since then, the trend has been steadily upward. With current levels of stock in the country Data Source: reported to be sufficient for Yemen s consumption requirements until the end of the year, the changes in international wheat prices are likely to have no significant impact during the coming few months. But given the fact that the Yemen is over 90% dependent on imports and over 50% of its citizens do not have enough food due to high food prices coupled with poor purchasing power of the population, WFP and its partners will continue to assess market conditions and closely monitor the impact on the precarious food security situation of the population in the country. For further comments/inquiries please contact or Page 4 of 5

5 Important Remark: The market price data contained in the report should be interpreted with caution as they do not capture the impacts of long term trends in food prices. This approach does not measure or indicate the severity of the likely impact that changes may have on different households due to different income and food basket variations by wealth, by livelihood groups and households capacities to cope with changes. For further comments/inquiries please contact or Page 5 of 5

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