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Sustainable Development Goals

SDG Indicator 2.c.1 - Food price volatility

Indicator 2.c.1 - Indicator of (food) price anomalies

The proposed indicator of food price anomalies measures the number of "Price Anomalies" that occur on a given food commodity price series over a given period of time. This indicator will measure progress towards SDG Target 2.c.

Adopt measures to ensure the proper functioning of food commodity markets and their derivatives and facilitate timely access to market information, including on food reserves, in order to help limit extreme food price volatility.


Detecting current and future trends in international food markets is essential for preventing potential crises. This indicator gives regular price information on a basket of goods to help ensure appropriate measures can be taken to offset hikes.

Key results

In 2016, 24 countries experienced high or moderately high levels of general food prices, while in 29 countries prices for one or more cereal products (maize, wheat, rice, sorghum/millet) were at high or moderately high levels.

11 countries experienced both abnormally high levels of general food prices and cereal prices. Maize was the commodity that recorded the highest number of countries and markets with price anomalies.

Sub-Saharan Africa was the region that had the most number of countries with both high levels of food prices (ten countries) and cereal prices (18 countries). The main causes of the high price levels were domestic output declines, currency depreciation and, in some countries, insecurity. Localized increases in fuel prices provided further support.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, reduced harvests and currency weakness, coupled with trade reforms aimed at boosting exports, were key drivers of the observed higher price levels for cereals in six countries. Only three countries in the region however experience abnormally high overall food prices.

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