South African potato prices up 140% in just four months

As an unusually cold winter in Limpopo hurt the early part of the province’s harvest, South Africa has seen a giant surge in potato prices in recent months.

This month, the average price of a 10kg-bag of potatoes in South Africa (across all classes and markets) reached R83. As recently as June, the average price was R34.40, according to data from Potatoes SA. This means an increase of 140% in four months.

According to dr André Jooste, CEO of industry association Potatoes SA, potato prices in the period since mid-June have been 46% higher than in the same period last year. The recent price surge has surpassed the previous highs seen at the beginning of 2016, at the height of the drought. At the start of 2016, potato prices across all classes and markets reached R63 per 10kg-bag.

This year’s price spike is due to a weaker potato harvest from Limpopo, the nation’s biggest producer this time of the year.  A particularly cold winter hurt the early harvest, Jooste told businessinsider.co.za.

The first potato harvests from Limpopo usually land in June and July, with the main harvest coming to the market in August to November.

South Africa exports around 8% of its potatoes to neighbouring countries, but also imports a relatively large quantity of French Fries from European producers like the Netherlands and Belgium.

[ R1=€0.051 ]


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