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Quarterly Food Price Monitor: May 2012
May 2012

Acknowledgements: FANRPAN acknowledges National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) as the source of this document


The April 2012 Consumer Price Index (CPI) released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) showed that food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation was 8.7 %. Headline CPI increased by 6.1 % between April 2011 and April 2012. The previous Food Price Monitor (FPM) of February 2012 reported that the food and non-alcoholic beverages index increased by 10.3 % between January 2011 and January 2012. Since the last report, food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation increased on a year-on-year basis by 9.6 % in February 2012 and 8.6 % in March 2012.

At the retail level, urban consumers paid R 8.23 for a 700g loaf of brown bread and R 9.19 for a loaf of 700g white bread during April 2012, a 12.74 % and 11.66 % increase respectively compared to April 2011. The domestic white maize price increased by 41.08 % compared to April 2011. At the retail level urban consumers paid 34.60 % more for a super maize meal (5kg) and 56.01 % more for special maize meal (5kg) in April 2012 compared to April 2011.

In April 2012, rural consumers paid R 14.89 more than urban consumers for the same food basket, a figure higher than the R 2.37 reported in the previous FPM. In April 2012, rural consumers paid R 8.24 more than urban consumers for maize meal (5kg), which is significantly higher than the price difference reported in April 2011. A loaf of white bread, a loaf of brown bread, sunflower oil 750ml and Ceylon/black tea are the only food items for which rural consumers paid less than urban consumers in April 2012.

The cost of the food basket, expressed as a share of the average monthly income of the poorest 30 % of the population, increased from 34.1% in April 2011 to 38.7% in April 2012, representing the highest share during this analysis period. When comparing the costs associated with the typical portion sizes of very poor consumers for the five most widely consumed food items in South Africa, based on April 2012 versus April 2011 prices there was a significant inflation of about 20.2 % (from R 3.15 to R 3.79 for the selection of portions).


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