International prices of wheat declined in April as 2015 crop prospects in main exporting countries continued to improve. Maize prices remained unchanged, while rice quotations from most origins weakened mainly on account of subdued export demand.
In exporter South Africa, domestic maize prices decreased in April, after strong gains since January, pressured by a combination of lower international prices and slightly improved 2015 production prospects.
In southern countries of East Africa, maize prices rose sharply in April, with seasonal upward pressure exacerbated by reduced 2015 outputs in some areas and strong regional export demand. Prices, however, remained below their year-earlier levels.
In CIS importing countries, weak national currencies kept wheat flour prices high, particularly in Tajikistan. By contrast, in exporter Ukraine some recovery of the national currency contributed to a slowdown in export sales, which coupled with favourable 2015 crop prospects, pushed prices down, reversing the sharp increases of the previous months.
In Central America, prices of the main staple remained well above year-earlier levels in most countries,supported by low regional market supplies following drought-reduced harvests in 2014/15.