Food price increases slowing

2009-12-07 00:00

ALTHOUGH shoppers are still struggling to fill the kitchen cupboards adequately every month, the latest research reveals that the rate of food price increases has moderated in recent months.

This is according to the National Agricultural Marketing Council’s (NAMC) Quarterly Food Price Monitor (November 2009).

According to the report, products that experienced year-on-year price decreases in October 2009 included cake flour (2,5 kg: -9,92%), maize special (5 kg: -7,26%), sunflower oil (750ml: -17,41%), brick margarine (500g: -10,82%), pork chops (-7,81%), lamb (-11,14%) and rice (2 kg: -7,85%).

Overall, food prices in October 2009 — compared with prices during October 2008 — were still rising, but at a slower pace than previously experienced.

The NAMC’s report also noted that the price of maize, beef and other meat products should remain stable over the next few months, despite the anticipated festive season shopping rush.

However, stronger sunflower oil and chicken prices are likely to punish shoppers during the coming months.

According to the report, the average price of a loaf of brown bread (700g) was virtually unchanged at R7,04 in October 2009 (R7,02 in October 2008), while the average price of cake flour (2,5 kg) was lower at R17,04 in October 2009 (R21,28 in October 2008).

The average price of plain macaroni (500g) was higher at R8,23 in October 2009, compared with R7,80 in October 2008.

However, the report noted that the average price of sunflower oil (750ml) decreased to R12,81 in October 2009, compared with R15,51 in October 2008.

The average price of baked beans (420g) increased to R7,95 in October 2009 from R5,47 in October 2008.

The report said that the average price of potatoes (10 kg) was R57,07 in October 2009 compared with R41,83 in July 2009 and R32,09 in October 2008.

“Prices of the most important grain commodities declined significantly compared to the last quarter of 2008. On average, many grain product prices at retail level in urban areas declined. Inflation pressure is significantly weaker in the unprocessed animal protein sub-sector, but is still relatively strong as far as the processed product is concerned. Inflationary pressures in the vegetables sub-sector remain strong, while the fruit sector shows signs of slowing price increases,” the NAMC report stated.

The cost of fresh and processed vegetables and fruit in urban areas continued to rise, according to the report.

Food prices in rural areas remain higher than food prices in urban areas. The reasons include transport costs, low volume discounts for rural outlets, stock losses due to spoilage and breakage, stock theft and loading costs.

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