In our latest price survey, we noticed that the supply of maize meal has improved slightly compared to the last two weeks were most shops, even downtown shops, were empty. We also noticed that the price had also fallen on the black market.
Long queues for roller meal at supermarkets
All the four popular supermarket chains Choppies, Pick N Pay (TM), OK and FoodWorld had long queues as people woke up early in order to buy cheap subsidised mealie-meal.
Unlike last week when people were failing to get anything, we actually witnessed shops, aided by ZRP officers actually selling Red Seal roller meal at Pick N Pay’s Downtown branch. Choppies ran out but not before scores of people had managed to make a purchase. The roller meal was being limited to one 10kg per customer. Other branches were selling Chibataura at the same price.
Refined meal is readily available and the price has fallen
Last week the few shops we saw selling refined maize meal were asking for more than $200 per 10kg while roller meal was going for $180 RTGS or $110 bond. This week all the Pick N Pay, FoodWorld and OK all had plenty of refined maize meal.
- 5kgs of Blue Ribbon’s Ngwerewere were going for $73.00 RTGS
- 1okgs were selling for around $145 RTGS and
- 20kgs were going for $294 RTGS
This might look steep but remember last week’s prices cited above. Also, these supermarkets were completely devoid of any mealie-meal, refined or otherwise last week so this counts as an improvement.
Prices fall on the black market too
One thing to note is that the prices of both roller meal and refined meal were also going up in real (USD) terms on the black market. Fueled by shortages in supermarkets the price had gone up to as high as $7 USD per 10kg of refined meal.
This week we saw a reversal of those hikes. Refined meal was selling for $5 down from that apex of $7. Roller meal meanwhile is selling for between $4.70 and $4.80 USD. Another oddity on the black market is the fact that refined meal is much more available compared to roller meal.
Most of the mealie-meal on the black market appears to be from South Africa with very few local brands available and even then you won’t find many bags of Red Seal suggesting that leakages might now be a thing of the past as the government tightens screws on the subsidy system.