Chapter 5
Analysis of historical price data
5.1 Introduction
Reviewing historical price data is essential in understanding current price behavior.
Combining price data with contextual information about agricultural production,
consumption, and marketing will improve monitoring an analysis.  Issues such as price data
coverage, defining seasonal patterns, analysis of particular markets and commodities, and
specific case studies will be discussed in this chapter.
5.2 Review historical price data
5.2.1 Data Coverage
The first step in reviewing price data is to review what data are actually available. The
identification of the data coverage refers to a systematic examination of what data actually
exist for different commodities and markets.  Within 
Priceman
, there is a simple process 
guided by a step by step help wizard to assist the analyst.  The output is a matrix of the
number of valid months of data for each market commodity combination by year (Figure
5.1).  This is an efficient and rapid method to examine the data coverage. This examination
will in combination with the output from the worksheets, studies, and expert knowledge 
set boundaries of what analysis is possible.
Figure 5.1:  Priceman output of the data coverage operation
Data Coverage by Months.
The numbers represent the number of valid Months.
Country|Market|Source
Commodity
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
ZA|LUSAKA URBAN|AMIC MAIZE
0
1
12
12
4
ZA|LUSAKA URBAN|AMIC MAIZE DRY 90 KG
6
11
12
12
4
ZA|MONGU|AMIC
MAIZE
0
8
12
12
4
ZA|MONGU|AMIC
MAIZE DRY 90 KG
8
11
12
12
4
ZA|NDOLA|AMIC
MAIZE
0
10
12
12
4
ZA|NDOLA|AMIC
MAIZE DRY 90 KG
6
11
12
11
4
30
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