Skip to main content

Fruit, cheese, and especially maize meal are all a lot more expensive

| Economic factors

A basket of food tracked by the National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) showed annual inflation of 4.1% in August on average – but some foods grew much more expensive than that.

At the retail level maize meal is 20% more expensive than a year ago, apples are up 16%, and sugar is almost 14% more expensive.


Eggs – and beef offal and chicken giblets – are among the few products that are cheaper than a year ago.

The price of maize meal, apples, cheese and sugar have all skyrocketed in the past year, but instant coffee and margarine are both a little cheaper, new numbers from the National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) show.

The NAMC tracks the retail prices of a basket of 28 items on a monthly basis. On Friday it released the results for the month of August, showing that the foods it watches increased in price by an average of 4.1% since August 2018 – but with huge variation within the basket.

Double-digit year-on-year price increases were seen in:

·        super maize meal, up 20%

·         fresh apples, up 16%

·         white sugar, up 13.8%, and

·         polony, up 11.9%

Cheddar cheese was 8.5% more expensive, the NAMC says, and tinned baked beans were up by 7.6%.

Bananas were also up by 9.5%, making for a combined increase in fruit prices of 10.3% for the year.

Full cream milk, peanut butter, bananas, brown bread, and fish other than tuna all also increased in price faster than the average, and at rates well above South Africa's headline inflation number, consumer price inflation (CPI), of 4.3%.

The big increases were partially offset by marginally cheaper foods such as dried beans and individually quick-frozen (IQF) chicken portions, though none of the NAMC-tracked items decreased hugely in price.

The biggest year-on-year food price drops for August were in:

·         eggs, which were 7% cheaper

·         chicken giblets, which were 3.6% cheaper

·         margarine, which was 2.5% cheaper

·         instant coffee, which was 1.8% cheaper

·         sunflower oil, which was 1.6% cheaper

Fresh beef offal was also a little cheaper, at 0.7%, while fresh beef mince scraped in at 0.04% cheaper than in August 2018.


Pin It

Related Articles

Budget: Liquor, cigarettes to cost more, no inc...

By: IOL Finance 2024 Budget made provision to raise R15 billion in taxes to alleviate fiscal pressure and support debt stabilisation.

Retail consumers now seeking value as cost of l...

By: IOL COST-of-living pressures muzzled sales volumes for retailer Spar’s Southern African business, including South Africa, although group turnover, which also accounts for its stores in Switzerland, Ireland and England, was up 9.3% for the fiv...

Excessive heat could result in higher food pric...

By: Given Majola - IOL The excessive heat across South Africa currently is a significant concern for the farming sector, according to the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz).

Budget 2024: South Africans should not expect a...

By:Dhivana Rajgopaul - IOL Amid the budget deficit not moving in the right direction, a tax specialist has said South Africans can expect Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana to raise the price of beer and cigarettes, but being an election year, no ...

Retail sales cool in 2023 with consumers still ...

By: Siphelele Dludla - IOL Consumers in South Africa are expected to continue struggling this year under the brunt of stubbornly high inflation, rising cost of borrowing and weak consumer confidence after retail activity plunged in 2023, in spite...