Meat producers say an increase in the prices of red meat and pork products will go beyond December into the first quarter of 2021.

Experts say the prices of this category of products are currently at their highest levels in years.

Consumers will have to fork out more for meat products this festive season.

CEO of the South African Pork Producers’ Organisation Johann Kotzé says they are currently experiencing high feed prices that makeup between 70% and 75% of pork production costs.

“The feed price now is relatively higher than what we had the previous year. For consumers, we are concerned that retail prices don’t go too high because you can have a resistance in buying and demand for pork. As producers, we are confident that the price that we have now at retail level will stay more or less the same and that we would keep our momentum as producers to sell pork,” says Kotzé.

Meanwhile, red meat prices have breached 50% a kilo with lamb and mutton at 40%

higher than last year.

CEO of the Red Meat Producers’ Organisation Gerhard Schutte says: “Prices year on year the producer prices of beef went up about twelve percent the lamb price for the producer year on year went up by about twenty five percent of cause that’s good news for the producer but not that good news for the consumer. Always remember that we are still 30% world norm in terms of prices and that is why we are so competitive in the international arena. We also have very high quality red meat in South Africa and that is mainly due to the fact we have a unique classification system.”

Food prices and COVID-19

South African consumers started spending more on groceries since the lockdown began in March.

This is according to a study done by the Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity Group, indicating that the price of essential food spiked by 30% between March and May this year.

The study also indicated that the prices of staple foods like rice, cooking oil and vegetables increased substantially and that the poorest of the poor suffer the most from these increases.

In the video below, Chief Economist at the Competition Commission James Hodge outlines some reasons behind the spike in food prices:

-Additional reporting by SABC News