It’s Heritage Day and the braai fires will be lighting up across Mzansi. And if the price of meat is making your eyes water, chances are you’re not alone. The Braai Day tradition is indeed getting more expensive each year.
In the National Agricultural Marketing Council’s latest Food Price Monitor (August 2021 edition) meat prices are highlighted as having increased more than the average inflation rate. From July 2020 to July this year, the prices of braai favourites like pork chops have increased by a whopping 27.6%, pork ribs 23.2% and leg of lamb 22%.
At the lower end of the (still high) inflation scale sits beef fillet, with a year-on-year price increase of 6.1% and beef sirloin at 6.5%.
Paul Makube, senior agricultural economist at FNB Agribusiness, recently wrote that stubbornly high meat prices lifted food inflation in August this year.
“Meat could be singled out as the biggest culprit in the uptick in food inflation given its weight in the food basket after posting a double-digit increase of 10.7% year-on-year. The combination of supply constraints due to the reduced pace of beef and sheep slaughter and the decreased volumes of poultry imports underpinned the recent uptrend in meat prices.
“Herd rebuilding remains on course largely due to the good feed availability after fantastic 2020/21 seasonal rains and has thus reduced the availability of cattle for the slaughter market as producers hold back on their stock. In the poultry market, we saw a 3.5% contraction in imports which caused supply tightness and the subsequent uptick in prices.
“Additionally, consumer demand for meat remained unseasonably solid despite the current economic challenges.”
The latest Standard Bank livestock report, also noted Free State farmers having been plagued by veld fires which destroyed grazing, infrastructure and led to the loss of livestock more recently. “According to the Free State Agriculture (FSA) organisation, which represents Free State farmers, over 400 000 hectares of veld have been destroyed up to the beginning of September 2021.
These are the latest beef trade (not retail) prices (week 36 of 2021), as highlighted in the report.
- The average price of class A2/A3: R51.55/kg
- The average price of class B2/B3: R49.76/kg
- The average price of class AB2/AB3: R50.92/kg
- The average weaner price: R37.49/kg