Grain Prices

We’ve been looking at the prices of VAT-free food products recently, and today, we’re taking a look at the prices of several staple grains.

Maize meal, also known as “mielie meal”, is one of the most consumed foods in South Africa. South Africa is expected to have a bumper maize harvest this year, which may push prices down. The price of maize meal is already lower than it was in June.

Samp is also derived from maize, and it’s interesting to see that its price history is similar to that of maize meal.

Lentil prices, though, have shot up recently. They’ve increased by about 7% since June!

Rice prices have also increased by a similar margin, albeit more gradually. South Africa imports most of its rice from other parts of the world. Perhaps disruptions in the global transportation industry have increased the cost of importing rice.

Below, we’ve used the StatsSA CPI weights to create a “grains index”. Overall, grain prices have increased by about 3%.

It’s encouraging to see that samp and maize meal prices have come down recently. This will provide some relief for low-income households. It’s worrying, though, that rice and lentil prices have increased so much. Let’s hope that prices stabilise soon!

Matt Dennis
Matt Dennis
Data Scientist


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