Maize prices continued to increase in December in most countries in the region. The upward pressure is likely due to the peak of the lean season. Overall, maize prices are very likely to remain above their average price trend at least until the next harvest. The two countries in the region with the maximum monitored maize market in ALPS Crisis were Malawi and (89% of its markets) and Mozambique (100% of its markets).
Trend analysis of real and nominal maize prices from 2011 to 2016 suggests that the price increased observed since 2014 is a temporary situation induced largely by the two successive drought seasons experienced in the region. Therefore, nominal prices are expected to come down in the post-harvest season of 2017 if the rainfall season develops as forecasted for 2016/2017 production season.
Armyworms infestation have been detected in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa. Reports indicate that it is largely under control in most of the areas of infestation but the impact on regional cereal production is yet to be quantified.