Food prices continue to rise above inflation, says NAMC

On average, maize meal now costs 40% more than it did a year ago, while the price of oranges has increased by more than 70%.

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CAPE TOWN – The National Agricultural Market Council says food inflation rose to 11.7% in December but it says prices could drop in several categories of food later in the year.

The National Agricultural Market Council says that year-on-year, the basic 23-item food basket increased by around R55 to R602 in December.

The items that showed the largest price differences between urban and rural areas were sunflower oil, margarine, maize meal and white bread.

On average, maize meal now costs 40% more than it did a year ago, while the price of oranges has increased by more than 70%.

Rural consumers are also paying more for white sugar, peanut butter and full cream milk.

The Council's Christo Joubert says: “With the maize meal, after round about five to six months, we can expect dramatic drops on the lower end of our consumers that’s been the hardest hit.”

The council also expects the price of poultry to drop later in the year but red meat will become more expensive.

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)