Food Price Monitor

Date of publication: 


In October 2017, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) indicated that the headline CPI and the food and non-alcoholic beverage price indices were 4.8% and 5.3%, respectively. The same indices were at 5.1% and 5.5% during September 2017. Prices were compared for selected food items in rural and urban areas for October 2017. Food items showing the largest price differences between urban and rural areas in October 2017 were: sunflower oil 750mℓ at a difference of R4.95, Ceylon/black tea 62.5g at a R2.08 difference, rice 2kg at a R0.93 difference and margarine spread 500g at a R0.53 difference. This indicates that urban consumers paid more for some of these food items than their rural counterparts. In other cases, however, rural consumers paid more for certain other products (e.g. white sugar 2.5kg, special maize meal 2.5kg, peanut butter 400g and super maize meal 2.5kg) than their urban counterparts. The FAO Food Price Index (FFPI), in nominal terms, averaged 176.4 points in October 2017, down 2.2 points (1.3%) from September. Although at this level the FFPI was up 4 points (2.5%) from its value in October 2016, it remained 27% below its all-time high (in nominal terms) of 240 points registered in February 2011. With the exception of cereals, all the other indices used in the calculation of the FFPI fell in October.

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South Africa