by MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – SOUTH African vegetable prices are increasing owing to substantial decline in volumes across markets while beef prices are lowering on the back of subdued demand.
Reduced domestic beef prices reflect seasonal trends, said Paul Makube, First National Bank (FNB) agricultural economist.
The rebound in seasonal rains after a hot and dry December-January period provided some upside for the weaner market as producers retained their stock.
Lamb and mutton prices ended mixed with Class A easing towards mid-month under pressure due to softer demand across markets.
Mutton prices however ended a bit firmer on the back of limited supplies.
Weekly pork and baconer prices moved modestly lower under pressure due to the softer demand.
Nonetheless, pork and baconer prices remain higher relative to last year (2017).
Broiler chicken prices continued to drift lower due to the seasonal decline in demand.
“Nonetheless, the tight domestic stocks help limit further declines but most categories remain sharply higher year on year,” Makube said.
Meanwhile, the last week saw strong gains in weekly vegetable prices due to a significant decline in supplies across markets.
The only exception was in the cabbage and lettuce markets which saw prices decreasing under pressure due to weak demand.
Vegetable prices were down across most commodities relative to last year (2017) except for potatoes and onions.
Makube said in the fruit market, the weekly trend was upwards across most commodities under review except for bananas and pears.
The yearly price trend was however balanced with half of the commodities under review falling sharply relatively to last year.
– CAJ News