Minimum Expenditure Basket in Malawi - Rounds 54 & 55 : 02–06 & 16–20 May 2022 - A look at Food and Non-Food Prices and Availability in Times of COVID-19



• The Survival Minimum Expenditure Baskets (SMEBs) were among the highest recorded since April 2022 during this round. The SMEBs eased in urban areas and the rural Northern Region, while increased in the rural Central and Southern Regions since the previous round.

• In both urban areas and the rural Northern Region, the SMEBs dropped slightly by 0.3 percent, mainly due to decreases in the prices of beans, cooking oil and cassava. The SMEB increased by 0.7 percent and 2.0 percent in the Central and Southern Regions, respectively. The prices of sugar, milling and fuel wood significantly increased, pushing the SMEBs upwards in these regions.

• The price of maize remained stable at MK 201 per kg in the latest two rounds. This price is relatively high compared to typical annual price trends for maize during this period. The price of maize grain normally decreases significantly between March and May, owing to the increased supply of maize from the harvests in most parts of the country.

• There was a further 6.5 percent decrease in the price of beans to MK 1,215 per kg from the previous round. Since late March this year, the price of beans has continuously decreased to the current record low for the year despite the price being among the highest recorded in the past five years. The continued harvest of beans in most parts of the country has increased supply of fresh beans on the markets across the country.

• The price of cowpeas rose by 1.5 percent, while that of pigeon peas eased by 1.4 percent since Round 53. Cowpeas were trading at MK 815 per kg in the current round, while pigeon peas were selling at MK 780 per kg.