Since June 2016, FEWS Net has followed the market situation in Nigeria; the country faces continuing economic challenges due to a global decline in crude oil prices and a depreciation of the national currency, as well as ongoing conflict in the northeastern regions. In the latest Nigeria Market Monitoring Bulletin, FEWS Net provides several updates of the implications of these challenges for the country and the region.
The report finds several positive recent trends. Global crude oil export prices have risen, as has Nigeria’s crude oil production; these factors have combined to increase the country’s foreign exchange reserves. Relatively stable inflation has steadied national prices.
Ongoing harvests are also helping to stabilize food prices, and the price of main staple foods are lower than they have been compared to both recent months and 2017 levels. However, the price of main staple foods remains higher than the five-year average across most markets and most commodities; this trend is expected to continue into 2018. This is particularly true in the northeastern areas of the country, where prices are highest due to ongoing conflict, below-average local harvests, high transaction costs, and limited market functioning.
The report predicts that as harvests continue, both market supply and households’ stocks of food will increase in general. It also suggests that, barring any increased export restrictions, exports of sorghum and millet from Nigeria to Niger could increase in the coming months.
The latest FEWS Net country profile for Nigeria, on the other hand, highlights the continuing high levels of food insecurity in the northeastern regions of the country. Many households affected by the ongoing conflict have been unable to pursue their normal livelihood activities, resulting in large food consumption gaps and high levels of acute malnutrition. The report suggests that famine-level food insecurity remains a threat in these areas.
By: Sara Gustafson, IFPRI