The market for fresh produce has seen some stability in prices of various commodities in spite of farmers battling higher input costs.
Experts say the recent sharp increases in the prices of potatoes and tomatoes have since leveled off as many cannot afford them.
Even though the agricultural fresh produce market has kept largely above water in the face of the pandemic; the sector continues to walk a tight rope by constantly balancing the higher input costs and the tough economic environment facing many consumers.
ZZ2, the country’s largest tomato producer says there has been a see-saw trend in the pricing of tomatoes. When supply drops and demand stabilizes, and the prices tend to go up eventually.
Marketing Manager for ZZ2, Clive Garrett, says: “If we look at the beginning of November, we were looking at about R6.58 p/kl. It did go up to about R9.30 it also dropped when the production was at its speed into around R4.38 p/kl and is now sort of stabilized at about R7 mark but we’re expecting prices to go up because production has come off slightly.”
Agri SA says it has now seen a resumption in the demand for onions and potatoes. It also noted a marginal upward price adjustment in some fresh produce products due to petrol price hikes.
Executive Director at AGRI SA, Christo van der Rheede says the price of petrol will also have an impact on prices going forward.
“There is a clear trend, an upward trend of products such as onions and potatoes and so on basically it boils down to supply and demand and we also know that the increase of diesel and petrol price will have an impact on prices going forward.”
The industry says although they are positive about the upcoming year, it fears that the multiple challenges in the economy could hamper its production.
Stability in the fresh produce market discussed in the video below: