If there’s one thing that would make South African consumers smile, it is that their basic foodstuffs are relatively cheaper than in 2017, Agbiz agricultural economist Wandile Sihlobo says.
“On average in May 2018, a 5-kilogram bag of super maize meal in South Africa was down by 22 percent from the same period last year,” Sihlobo adds.
Similarly, milk’s price decreased by 1% from May 2017, a 2.5kg bag sugar by 9% and imported goods such as rice by 3%.
“This good news is largely underpinned by an improvement in agricultural output – thanks to good rainfall, albeit arriving late in some parts of the country,” Sihlobo says. The South Africa’s maize market should remain well supplied into 2019.
The latest official consumer inflation numbers from Statistics South Africa show that bread and cereal prices, as well as the price of fruit, fell by more 3% in the year to June. Sugar, sweets and desserts were more than 5% cheaper in the same period, while oils and fats were down more than 1.4%. But meat price rose almost 7% and vegetables were up 5.7%.
In its latest set of results, Pick n Pay said its internal price inflation (the price it paid for goods) was 3.6%. Last week, Shoprite said its internal inflation fell from 7.3% in the previous year to only 0.5%.
Business Insider South Africa compared the prices of popular food items between 2017 and 2018 to see how prices have decreased.
May 2017 - R21,79
June 2018 - R18,99
March 2017 - R64,99
July 2018 - R58,50
May 2017 - R49,99
July 2018 - R39,33
May 2017- R19,99
July 2018 - R17,99
May 2017 - R16,99
July 2018 - R10,99
Unfortunately, this low-price party is not expected to last for much longer. A weak rand and shocking fuel price hikes are expected to push food prices higher in coming months.
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