Guiding consumers since 2009

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 Times are tough, but keep your debt under control

While the whole world is going through a rough patch, you may also be feeling the pinch. With the country in crisis, it may be difficult to keep up with your debt instalments. However, abandoning your debt obligations is not the solution.

Debt Series Part 2: Interest rates - unpacked

In the second part of our Debt-ucate series we explore interest rates –from how to get a better rate to what influences it, and how this affects the cost of your debt.

Debt counselling – the two sides of the coin

Being overindebted doesn’t just put a strain on your personal finances; it also puts a strain on your state of mind. The best solution is to start the process of debt counselling so that you can escape the debt cycle. But what are the ups and downs of joining this debt relief programme?

Travel ban – how to claim for the loss incurred

As with the recent Covid-19 pandemic, governments sometimes issue travel bans to prevent people from travelling to other countries. This becomes even more complicated if you’ve already planned and paid for your trip. Your flights will be cancelled, and you may lose money from cancelled accommodation arrangements. How do you claim for the financial losses incurred due to a travel ban?

Deals

Get 30% back when you fill up with your Absa card

Price: Available on request
When: Daily
Where: Nationwide

Get 50% back in eBucks when you apply for an FNB home loan

Price: Available on request
When: Daily
Where: Nationwide

Get 50% off your online fees when you pay with Capitec card

Price: Available on request
When: Daily
Where: Online