How much more are YOU paying?

By Staff Writer

Lihle Z Mtshali

Official figures released two weeks ago showed that consumers were paying an average of 15.3 percent more for their food in March than a year ago.

But our independent shopping trolley survey shows that from January to May, the cost of your 20 most essential grocery items has shot up by an incredible 25.2 percent.

The Times Shopping Trolley was launched in January to monitor the price fluctuations of 20 of the most essential grocery items that go into your shopping trolley every month.

The biggest increase in the five months that the survey has been going is in cooking oil. The price of a 750ml bottle of Canola cooking oil has gone up from an average of R12.56 in January to R20.68 — a whopping 64.6 percent increase.

March’s producer price index figures showed that prices of fats and oils jumped by 52.1 percent year-on-year.

South Africa imports 800000 tons of vegetable oil every year, at a cost of between R6- to R8-billion.

According to Professor Johan Willemse of the University of the Free State, this is the main reason for the spike in cooking oil prices.

“There is a global shortage of agricultural commodities on the world market from which we import because of demand growth and production not keeping up with the pace, which has contributed to the high commodity prices,” Willemse said.

“Locally, we produce about 400000 tons of vegetable oil each year, whereas South Africans consume up to 1.3 million tons of oil per year. So, we produce too little for local consumption.”

Last week sunflower seeds, which are used to produce cooking oil, cost R4619 per ton, up from R2685 a year ago.

Fanie Joubert, an economist at the Efficient Group, said the combination of high global food prices and the weak rand were adding to the strong prices for imported commodities .

Joubert said: “This is a scary phenomenon and we don’t know when the cycle will end.

“Unfortunately, no matter how much South Africans try to tighten their belts, everything is just coming down on the consumer at the same time.”

Recent Articles

Featured Tax free savings accounts – Which offer you the best value?

This week Justmoney compares TFSA’s across the five banks mentioned to see which bank allows for the most savings potential and which is cheaper to utilise.

Read more

Are you liable for your spouse’s debt?

Marriage may signal taking on someone’s last name, family, and even traditions. But are you signing up to be liable for your spouse’s debt too? And if your life partner is made redundant or fired, will you be responsible for your spouse’s debt?

Read more

What happens to your medical aid when you move overseas?

While exploring a different country, you may rely on the built-in travel insurance that forms part of your medical aid. However, what happens when you stay for longer than a typical vacation? This week Justmoney has a look at what you should do with your medical aid if you decide to move overseas for a period of time.

Read more

How to apply for government funding for your start-up business

Starting your own business can be challenging, especially if you don’t have the capital to get it off the ground. Fortunately, there are many ways to fund a new business in South Africa. This week Justmoney found out more about these grants, how to apply for them, and what you can do to make your business stand out from the rest.

Read more

Sign Up

To our weekly newsletter for advice you can bank on

Deals

KFC Variety Boxes Special

Price: R95
When: Daily
Where: Online

Colosseum Hotel Weekend Special

Price: Available on request
When: Until 25 August
Where: Cape Town

XPRESSO Café Deal

Price: R10
When: Daily
Where: Cape Town