Total monthly volumes of informally traded maize, rice and beans continue to decline. Trade volumes typically decrease over the hunger season; this year, the decline started in November and is expected to continue until the next harvest period in May/June.
Maize flows between Mozambique and Malawi remain significant and the most dominant. The trade flows between the two countries continue to be influenced by significant price differentials, with higher prices on the Malawi side (destination) while in Mozambique (source) prices are lower, and have been declining since October.
The January 2010 nominal maize prices are higher than the same time last year and above the 5-year average despite the good harvests realized last season. As the hunger season peaks, prices are now expected to rise steadily until the next harvest comes on to the markets May/June.