Colder weather is supporting more demand for vegetables, but there is weak demand for fruit with concomitant pressure on prices.
Pineapple prices reached a high of an average R18.54 (0.98 euro) per kilogram on municipal markets by the first week of May as South Africans rediscovered the fruit grown in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.
Right: pineapples sold for R29.99 (1.6 euro) each in retail at the end of May
The latest price is R9.20 (0.49 euro), 29% down on last week's price which, in turn, slid 43% on the week prior. It might have something to do with the re-legalisation of alcohol as lockdown regulations dial down and people don't need to make pineapple beer anymore.
In the retail sector some stores are still selling pineapples for R30 (1.6 euros) a piece.
Bananas have also been negatively affected by weak consumer demand, trading at R7.21 (0.38 euro) per kilogram.
Apple and pear prices remain relatively stable from week to week, between R6 (0.31 euro) and R7 (0.37 euro) a kilogram.
Despite large orange volumes (mostly navels) arriving at the market, the orange price is R3.35 (0.18 euro) per kilogram, a level which can still be considered competitive given large supply. South Africans have a longstanding affinity for oranges; the orange mesh bag is on most South Africans' winter shopping list.
South Africans love 7kg and 10kg orange pockets
Lemon prices (currently at R4.19 or 0.22 euro per kilogram) on fresh produce markets) are expected to further slide due to high volumes.
Strong avocado demand
Avocados are bucking the trend: demand remains strong, given a difficult trading environment, and sells for an average R10.67 (0.57 euro) per kg at the moment, slightly up on last week.
Restaurants and the hospitality sector are slowly re-emerging, but it is still not allowed to sit down at restaurants. Restaurant deliveries are buoying the sector.
In general, the feeling on the market is that consumers are extremely price-sensitive, which is a reflection of reduced spending power.