Maize prices still elevated


Maize prices remain elevated at an average price of K160 per kilogramme (kg) or K 8, 000 per 50 kg bag in selected markets across the country despite the start of harvesting in some districts.

Traditionally, most districts in the Southern Region commence maize harvesting between March and April.

In districts such as Mulanje, Thyolo and Blantyre, some growers have started harvesting the grain.


A snap survey by The Daily Times on Tuesday revealed that prices were hovering between K8,000 and K 8,500 per 50 kg bag up from K 5,000 per 50 kg bag in January.

A visit to Mbayani, Ndirande, Chilobwe, Manase and Baluti townships in the commercial city revealed that maize was being sold at prices between K160 and K190 per kg.

Joseph Machika, a maize vendor at Mbayani Market, said this year’s maize produce is yet to trickle down to the market.


“There are some vendors that kept maize stocks and have now started releasing the commodity. But business is not at peak yet and we look forward to the time when harvesting gets to its peak,” he said.

Another trader, Josephine Chisale, said maize sales have stagnated in recent weeks as consumers anticipate a fall in prices.

The elevated maize prices should be a concern to the authorities as it is likely to continue exerting pressure on inflation.

As at January 2018, inflation was recorded at 8.1 percent up from 7.1 percent in December 2017.

Meanwhile, the International Food Policy Research Institute’s (IFPR) monthly retail prices has indicated that the average maize retail price increased by 18 percent in February 2018.

“The price increases were registered in almost all the markets except Chimbiya, which reported no price change during the month,” IFPR said.

The average maize retail price was K114 per kg in February 2018, according to IFPR findings.

President Peter Mutharika recently said Malawi would continue stocking enough food to hedge against any possible shocks in the wake of dry spells and the fall armyworm which hit some districts in the Southern and Central regions.

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