So, you’re feeling the money squeeze and, like most South Africans, you’re really finding it hard to get through the month. Not only are we experiencing an all-time high fuel price, but every time you’re in a shop it feels like food prices have gone up.
No, it’s not your imagination. Consumers will be forced to spend less and move to cheaper alternatives, warns Dawie Maree, the head of information and marketing at FNB Agriculture.
He says, “We anticipate an upward trend in the consumer price index and food inflation in the short term. Food inflation reached 6.2% in the second half of January. The fuel price remains the main driver of higher costs going forward.”
Long story short, in the next few months it will be even tougher to survive.
Chicken, beef or pork?
FNB agricultural economist Paul Makube says currently chicken is the cheapest of all meat types. The growth in the chicken market is ascribed to a tariff increase that negates the importation of cheaper chicken.
The price for beef T-bone reached R119 p/kg in January. Beef fillet rose to more than R210 p/kg and mutton and lamb loin chops reached R185 p/kg. Beef offal was priced at around R60 p/kg, an almost 40% year‑on‑year price increase as consumers started opting for cheaper protein products.
Also, pork prices have come under pressure with a year-on-year decrease of almost 13% for pork fillet and 2.5% for pork chops.
What about fruit and vegetables?
Vegetable prices have also gone through the roof because of excessive rainfall and flooding in certain parts of the country, explains Makube.
The price of pumpkin increased by more than 30% year-on-year in January, 24% in the case of tomatoes and we saw an almost 18% increase in the price for cabbages. Price increases for onions, potatoes, lettuce and cucumber ranged between 5.2% and 9.5% at the start of the year.
On the flip side, there has been a downswing in fruit prices. Pineapples are now 27% cheaper than a year ago while apples and oranges are respectively 26% and 21% cheaper. Avocado and paw paw lovers have also probably noticed that even these fruits are costing them less than a year ago.
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