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South African ginger drops to a tenth of COVID-19 high

Retail prices for ginger have sunk as low as R30/kg as ample rains have diminished quality and larger volumes flow into the market. Since prices for ginger shot up to R300/kg during the COVID pandemic, farmers planted more ginger, swinging the supply-and-demand curve towards lower prices.

Mpumalanga ginger farmer Steyl Willemse noted, however, that the market was correcting itself, and due to the lower price, less ginger would be planted in the coming season. “Prices last year were far below average, dropping to R20/kg. Since late February, prices have climbed to around R60/kg as volumes and quality were subdued because of rain.”

Jaco Oosthuizen, RSA Group CEO, said that challenges caused by weather had constrained supply, with low market prices paid for low-quality ginger. “As the season progresses and quality improves, [prices will be firmer].” He said that a benefit of the high demand for ginger seen during the pandemic was that consumers had become more accustomed to fresh ginger and demand had held steady, amid an increase in local supply.


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