COVID-19: Essential product prices fluctuate during Level 5 lockdown

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The dawn of the nationwide lockdown has seen a subsequent change in our shopping habits, due to the recent pricing of certain essential products.

According to a study by Statistics SA, the prices of essential products has decreased by 0.5% during the month of April.

The study shows that bread and cereal price prices decreased by 0.6%. Rice saw a decrease of 4%. Mielie meal, on the other hand, ended the month of April with prices 0,1% lower than the end of March.

However, milk, eggs and cheese products showed an increase in price over the month. The price of eggs shot up by 19.8%, while cheddar cheese prices increased by 3.9%. The price of cake flour has also increased, shooting up by 6.8%.

Oils and fats increased by 1,2% over April, while margarine spread decreased by 4,9%. Cooking oil increased by 5,4%.

Fruit and vegetable prices ended the month lower by 3,2% and 4,6% respectively.

Prices for meat products decreased by 1% over April. However, according to Statistics SA, there was substantial variation between different meat products. The price of beef generally increasing, with chicken and pork generally decreasing.

According to the study, beef mince prices increased by 7,2%, while prices for frozen chicken (non-IQF) portions decreased by 5,3%.

Statistics SA also found there was an average price increase in household maintenance product groups (mainly detergents) during April.

With the price changes, Statistics SA emphasises this is a temporary project, running only during the April restrictions (Level 5) on consumer products.

What are your thoughts on the study? Did you find the prices of essential goods went up more? Or did you find the prices of certain items did drop? Share your thoughts and views with us in the comment section below.

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