Food prices driven higher by retail margins

Vegetable inflation stood at 7.2% in August
Farmers experienced price increases of four horticulture products and retailers eight products.
Phillepus Uusiku
During August 2022, farmgate prices for various horticulture products have decreased by 5.5% on average, whereas retail prices have decreased by 1.2% on average, analysis by Simonis Storm indicated.

Farmers experienced price increases of four horticulture products and retailers eight products, implying that food prices are driven higher by retail margin increases.

For instance, the annual percentage change in the farmgate price for tomatoes increased by 6.8%, while the annual percentage change in retail price increased by 20.7%.

“Indeed, retailers charge about N$12.25/kg higher than farmgate prices in Namibia,” Simonis Storm pointed out.

According to the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA), Namibia’s inflation rate was recorded at 7.3% in August 2022, an increase of 3.9 percentage points when compared to 3.4% recorded in August 2021. In July 2022, inflation was recorded at 6.8%.

Transport and food and non-alcoholic beverages categories were the main two drivers of inflation in August.

The food and non-alcoholic beverages category carry the second largest weight (16.45%) in the consumer basket in the consumer price index (CPI). Oil and fats were the main drivers of food inflation recording a rate of 26.1%.

Fruit recorded an inflation rate of 20%, while vegetables, including potatoes and other tubers registered 7.2%.

Other food items that recorded significant inflation rates are bread and cereals (9.8%), sugar, jam, honey, syrups, chocolate, and confectionery (9.7%), coffee, tea and cocoa (9.7%).

The Namibian Agronomic Board (NAB) restricted the importation of ten horticulture products in August 2022 and expanded this list to eleven products for September 2022.

“This is indicative of local supply being insufficient to meet local demand, specifically for beetroots, cabbage, carrots, onions, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, tomato jam, lettuce, spinach and potatoes,” Simonis Storm [email protected]