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Price volatility measures the rate at which prices rise or fall over a specific period of time. High price volatility makes it difficult for farmers to take production decisions because of uncertainty about future prices. It also affects food security of vulnerable populations whose access to food is reduced by high prices and who cannot afford to buy in bulk when prices are low. The measure of price volatility used in the graphs below is the standard deviation of the log monthly price changes for the preceding 12 months. Alongside this, the average of the log monthly price changes for the preceding 12 months is also plotted, helping to determine the general trend in prices over the period, which is independent of the volatility. All calculations are based on prices in real terms.
Currency Depreciation
For importing countries, a depreciation of the national currency makes the cost of food imports, in local currency terms, more expensive. The graphs below show the countries with the highest nominal exchange rate depreciation with respect to the US Dollar, the world’s trade reference currency, over the latest three month period.
Oil Prices
International crude oil markets are an indicator of energy costs at country level, particularly in oil importers.