Across southern Africa, regional food staple prices were below both their respective 2017 levels and 5 year averages (5YA). In Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, and Tanzania, maize prices were 25 - 36 percent below the 5YA. Prices are expected to decrease in coming weeks as harvesting gets underway. The sole exception to such trends is the DRC, where the average national price of cassava flour has remained above the 5YA since September 2017, and showed an increase from January to February 2018.
A look at the Alert for Prices Spikes (ALPS) shows that in February, with the exception of two markets in the DRC, monitored markets in the region indicated normal price levels for maize.
Overall, despite drought conditions experienced in December 2017 and January 2018, regional maize supplies are expected to be normal or above normal. Yet, there are pockets of areas that could experience shortfalls (e.g. in southern Madagascar, southern Malawi, southeastern Mozambique, central and southern Zambia, and Zimbabwe) and these need to be monitored closely.