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Fresh produce price increases help drive food inflation in South Africa

Prices of fruits and vegetables were a major factor in the fastest rate of inflation growth in over 14 years in South Africa. Food inflation in South Africa increased from 12.4% reported in December 2022 to 13.8% reported in January 2023, driven by oils and fats, bread and cereals, and processed goods. 

This is according to Thabile Nkunjana, an agricultural economist in the Agro-Food Chains Markets and Economic Research Division of the National Agricultural Marketing Council of South Africa.

In January 2023, prices for vegetables jumped by 4.2%, with onions leading the way to a greater extent, followed by potatoes and cabbage, and prices for fruits increased by 5.6% on a monthly basis, with apples and bananas leading the way.

Apple prices are frequently higher in January and February each year due to the perennially low supply, but they start to fall in March as the supply grows.

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