With ample agricultural harvests, why is South Africa still seeing food prices rising - and what is the outlook for the rest of the year? asks Wandile Sihlobo.
Rising food prices continue to dominate the headlines, domestically and globally. It is not unusual to see complaints about rising sunflower oils or broader headline food price inflation on the domestic front. This has, in turn, raised questions of how this could be in a year of abundant agricultural harvest.
The answer goes back to the fact that South Africa is interlinked to the global food system, which is facing an uptick in prices. Consider sunflower oils: South Africa is a net importer of sunflower oils, importing on average 197 342 tons per annum in the past five years. Additionally, South Africa imports, on average, 477 185 tons of palm oil a year.