Maize Prices Go Up

Maize prices have gone up by 18 percent in the month of February 2018, International Food Policy Research Institute (Ifpri) maize market report has revealed.

According to the report, average maize retail price was recorded at K114 per kilogramme (kg). However, despite the price hike recorded over the last two months, retail maize prices are almost K100 per kg lower than in February last year, when the average maize price recorded by Ifpri was K21 0 per kg.

The price of the staple has in recent months been stable on account of oversupply of the commodity on the market with Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe indicating that the country has about 240 000 metric tonnes (MT) in grain reserves and about 190 000 MT in Agricultural Development Marketing Corporation (Admarc) warehouses.

Gondwe said the maize was enough to feed the nation this year.

The oversupply of the commodity consequently pushed down inflation to 7.1 percent in December 2017.

However, the rising maize prices have had a negative impact with inflation slowly inching up by 1 percentage points to 8.1 percent in January.

Grain Traders Association of Malawi (Gtam) president Grace Mijiga Mhango, said while it is expected that maize prices increase between January and March, speculation has negatively impacted pricing despite the availability of maize.