Maize prices drop 3.8%

Bernard Mphepo

Maize prices dropped by 3.8 percent to K471 per kilogramme (kg) in December 2022, down from a record high price of K490 per kg in November 2022, a World Food Programme (WFP) report indicates.

The report, which was released on Friday, indicates that the drop is due to the opening of Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) depots in early December.

Admarc is selling its maize stocks at K300 per kg.


However, the report notes that the current price is 157 percent higher than the price in December 2021 and 163.6 percent above the five-year average for December.

“Prices of maize grain were the highest in the Southern Region and lowest in the Central Region. In the Southern Region, the price declined from an average K505 per kg in the previous month to K495 per kg in the current month. The price of maize also dropped in the Central Region to K418 per kg in December 2022 from K469 per kg in the previous month. In the Northern Region, however, the price increased from an average of K468 per kg in November to K479 per kg this month.

By district, the report indicates that Chitipa recorded the highest price of maize at K525 per kg in this month.


This was followed by Chikwawa and Mulanje districts, where maize was selling at K515 per kg and K512 per kg, respectively.

The price was lowest in Ntcheu District at K370 per kg and in Mangochi District at K399 per kg.

Meanwhile, the report says a typical household’s survival minimum expenditure basket slightly increased between November and December 2022 by 0.5 percent, thus from K92,220 per month to K92,637 per month.

The Survival Minimum Expenditure Basket (Smeb) is the absolute minimum amount required to maintain existence and cover lifesaving food and non-food needs.

Monitored by WFP Malawi since April 2020, the Smeb is primarily used to assess if households have the economic capacity to cover their most basic needs through the market.

The food commodities used in calculating the survival expenditure are those that make up a traditional rural and urban diet.

And, in an interview, Centre for Social Concern Programmes Officer Bernard Mphepo said the drop in maize prices cannot have a huge bearing on the cost of living.

“The contribution would not be as significant. Instead of the cost of living increasing, it, however, just stabilises,” he said.

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