The Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) has attributed its positive inflation outlook to a surplus in maize output last year and a forecast of a similar trend this year.
However this comes against a surge in maize prices; a December 2020 report by the International Food Policy Research Institute stated that food prices rose by 6% from the previous month. The report outlined that prices of maize were averaging K200 or more per kilogramme (kg) translating to K10,000 per 50kg bag, at the end of December. Adding to that, The Daily Times newspaper investigations done this week, found that maize prices have further risen to K11,000 for a 50kg bag, with fears that the commodity might fetch more than that in the coming days if Admarc did not flood the market with its maize.
Speaking to The Nation newspaper, RBM spokesperson Onelie Nkuna said the trend will likely continue into 2021 as the country has enough maize supplies until the next harvest. “You may recall that the country produced 3.8 million tonnes of maize last year, which is higher compared to the country’s maize requirement of 3.1 metric tonnes, indicating surplus production in the year.”she said.