Minimum Expenditure Basket in Malawi – Round 52: 04-08 April 2022 – A Look at Food Prices and Availability in Times of COVID-19

Highlights

• During this round of data collection, the Survival Minimum Expenditure Basket (SMEB) increased in rural areas, while expenditure in urban areas remained unchanged. The household SMEBs increased by an average of 12.6 percent in the rural Northern Region; 4.8 percent in the Central Region; and 1.8 percent in the rural Southern Region. The rising SMEBs observed during this round are mostly due to increases in the prices of maize, cooking oil, fish, and soap in all regions.

• The price of maize increased by 8.9 percent to MK 206 per kg in this round (early April) from MK 189 per kg in the previous round (late March). Maize grain prices unexpectedly increased during this period mostly because producers and traders adjusted their prices upwards in anticipation of poor production and high prices this year. The Government also revised upwards to MK 220 per kg the Minimum Farmgate Price for maize, which will likely elevate maize prices further in the coming weeks.

• The price of beans eased by 1.7 percent to MK 1,325 per kg, down from MK 1,348 per kg in the last round. Although the price of beans has been less predictable in the last three months, the dip in the price of beans in the current round was likely due to the increased supply of fresh beans from this year’s harvest, which began in late February.

• The price of cowpeas remained stable between the last two rounds, hovering at MK 793 per kg, while the price of pigeon peas marginally increased by 0.4 percent to MK 777 per kg compared to last round.

Source: World Food Programme