Minimum Expenditure Basket in Malawi - Rounds 39 & 40: 4-8 and 18-22 October 2021 - A Look at Food Prices and Availability in Times of COVID-19

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Key Highlights

Note: This report looks at price data and trends over three rounds: Round 38 (mid September) and Rounds 39 & 40 (October), aggregated. For the sake of simplicity, the aggregated rounds (Rounds 39 & 40) will be referred to as Round 40.

• During this reporting period, the Survival Minimum Expenditure Baskets (SMEBs) rose across all regions in the country. In urban areas, the SMEB increased by 5.0 percent. The rural Northern, Central and Southern Regions registered an increase of 8.4 percent, 7.0 percent, and 3.8 percent, respectively. The increase in SMEBs mainly emanated from a significant rise in prices of cooking oil, cassava, and firewood.

• Maize grain was trading at an average price of MK 151 per kg, slightly above the Government-set minimum farm gate price of MK 150 per kg.
The current price represents a one percent rise from the Round 38 price of MK 149 per kg (collected between 20 and 24 September 2021). The price of maize grain this cycle is expected to peak between January and February 2022.

• Beans are currently selling at a record high price February 2021 of MK 1,082. This represents a two percent increase from the price in the last round (Round 38).

• Cowpea prices slightly decreased by one percent to MK 605 per kg, while the price of pigeon peas remained at MK 514 per kg between Round 38 and Round 40.