Even at 10.5% meat inflation, South African meat is as much as 70% cheaper than international prices, according to Paul Makube, senior agricultural economist at FNB Agri-Business.

Meat price rose at the fastest pace since 2017, when a year-on-year increase in prices of 14,9% was recorded.

Retail Prices

T-bone steak inflation surged by 18,5% year-on-year, followed by brisket and beef chuck that increased by 10,4%/kg.

Lamb chop prices rose by 4,8% year-on-year.

Chicken prices were up across most categories with an increase of 7,2% for fresh whole birds, while individually quick frozen 2kg chicken portions rose by 5,1%.

Pork ribs and fillet increased by 3,9% and 2,8% year-on-year respectively. The exception was pork chop prices, which fell by 3,8% year-on-year.

Producer Cost Pressure

Livestock producers are under enormous cost pressure due to the high input costs. The price of maize, a major ingredient in livestock feed, increased by 43% year-on-year for white and 28% for yellow maize respectively. Soya bean prices was 39% higher year-on-year.

Despite the very significant escalation in input costs, the farm-gate prices of beef only increased by 12% year-on-year, while those of mutton and lamb increased by about 5%.

Prices are expected to decline again early in the new year as consumer compare prices and quality when buying meat from South Africa‚Äôs 8 000 retail outlets and 400 abattoirs.

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