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The International Rise in Maize and Wheat Prices and its Potential Impact on Food Security in West Africa, August 2012

Atypical drought conditions in the US causes wheat, maize and soya prices to soar (figure 1). According to data record-ed by the World Bank in July 2012, wheat increased by 50%, maize by 45% and soya by 30% since mid-June 2012. By contrast, rice prices remained stable until July 2012. Compared to the 5-year average, maize, soya and wheat increased by 59%, 44% and 31%, respectively, and rice increased only by 8%. A new bullish phase in inter-national markets could impact regional markets and the food access of West African households already affected by the current nutrition and food crisis.