GIEWS - Global Information and Early Warning System

Data & Tools

GIEWS collects various data to support its own technical activities. However, as these datasets are a valuable resource also to support countries in gathering evidence for policy decisions, or planning by development partners, GIEWS, together with other FAO units, has developed several web-based tools to facilitate widespread access and analysis of the data.

Country Cereal Balance Sheet (CCBS)

The Country Cereal Balance Sheet (CCBS) system is a unique database created and continuously kept up to date by GIEWS/Basic Foodstuffs Team of the Markets and Trade Division, with data since 1980. It contains annual supply and utilization balances for the main cereals produced and consumed for 255 countries/areas, from which (sub) regional and global aggregates are drawn. 

Historical estimates of the primary elements of the balances (production, trade, food use, closing stocks, food aid, etc.) are based on information collected from governments, NGOs, other UN agencies, research institutions, the international press and private companies/individuals. For the latest year/season and/or where government assessments are not readily available, the data reported constitutes analyses/short-term forecasts conducted by country officers and commodity specialists. All figures are subject to revision, since elements are continuously updated and resulting balances/aggregates released based on a monthly schedule. For historical figures, changes may be due to the release of revisions to official data, while for the forecast year, revisions may reflect changing market conditions. The data processing procedure on other non-primary elements of the balances follows the common practice of commodity balance sheets.

The population figures across CCBS/XCBS are updated following the release of the UN population projections dataset: https://population.un.org/wpp/Download/Standard/Population/, with slight adjustment on the Russian Federation and Ukraine since 2015.

To access the data:

The Food Price Monitoring and Analysis (FPMA) Tool went online in 2009. The database includes over 1400 monthly domestic retail and/or wholesale price series of major foods consumed in 94 countries and weekly/monthly prices for 81 internationally traded foods. The Tool provides easy access to the data, allowing users to quickly browse and analyse trends of single price series, create comparisons among countries/markets/commodities, and download charts, data and basic statistics such as maximum and minimum levels, averages, percentage changes and standard deviations over different time periods.

To support its analysis and supplement ground-based information, GIEWS utilizes remote sensing data that can provide a valuable insight on water availability and vegetation health during cropping seasons. In addition to rainfall estimates and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), GIEWS and FAO OCB Division have developed the Agricultural Stress Index (ASI), a quick-look indicator for early identification of agricultural areas probably affected by dry spells, or drought in extreme cases.

Food aid shipments transaction data (1988-2016) was provided by WFP and GIEWS re-processed the data according to FAO needs. Aforementioned data is available through the FAOSTAT website.