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Maize prices down 2% in December

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An International Food Policy Research Institute (Ifpri) maize market report indicates that retail maize prices decreased by two percent in December 2022, despite market prices being higher than those in Zambia, Mozambique and South Africa.

The report, released Monday, indicates that 17 out of 26 Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) markets were selling the commodity during the time Ifpri monitored activities.

According to the report, on average, maize was selling at a retail price of K471 per kilogramme (kg) in the last week of December, two percent less than the previous month.

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The report notes that the decline is mainly because Admarc depots started selling maize in most of the markets at lower prices. Admarc began maize sales on December 1 2022, buying the commodity at K300 per kg, or K15,000 per 50 kg bag.

“In the same period, the average price of maize was lowest at Mchinji market (K406/kg) and was highest at Mwanza market (K529/kg),” it indicates.

Mangochi market recorded the highest decline (12 percent) in retail maize price between end November and end December last year

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On the other hand, Mzimba market recorded the highest increase in retail maize price of 12 percent.

Further, the report says the average retail price of maize remains highest in the Southern Region as most maize retailers incur additional transaction costs when purchasing maize from the Central Region.

In the month of December, the average retail price of maize was K445/kg in the Northern Region, K435/kg in the Central Region and K490/kg in the Southern Region.

At regional level, according to the report, retail prices of maize were highest in Nairobi, Kenya, and lowest in Zambia at the end of December 2022.

“However, the retail prices of maize in some Malawian markets were higher than in Zambia, Mozambique and South Africa,” the report reads.

Speaking on Friday, when Minister of Agriculture Sam Kawale inspected fertiliser-selling points in Mzimba District, Member of Parliament for Mzimba North East Catherine Gotani Hara asked the minister to make sure that maize is available at all times in all Admarc selling points.

Hara, who is also speaker of the National Assembly, said maize that is being sold by vendors is expensive, such that most Malawians cannot afford it.

Monthly maize market reports are developed by researchers at Ifpri Malawi, with the main goal of providing clear and accurate daily maize price data in selected markets throughout Malawi.

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