Agritrends -Demand for fresh produce has slowed down -South Africa

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Fresh produce also remains fresher for longer during winter which means purchases at the markets occur less frequently. The volumes sold and prices on fresh produce declined all around this week, except for cabbage prices which experienced a slight increase of 0.1% week-on-week.
For this week, the price of cabbage remained very close to what it was the previous week, increasing by only 0.1% week-on-week. These prices are 8% lower than what prices were this time last year. The volume of cabbages sold decreased by 18.3% week-on-week as demand for cabbages remains low. The expectation is for prices to remain low over the next 3 months. Prices are also not expected to decline lower than R1.80/kg, on average, over this period.
The volumes sold decreased further this week by 19.7% compared to the previous week. This is due to the reduced demand for carrots during this season. The supply from producers has been stable however, the markets are beginning to see a build-up of produce as demand is not able to match the supply that is coming through. The price for carrots decreased by 19.2% week-on-week in response to the decreased demand. The expectation over the next two weeks is for prices to not go above R2.80/kg until we see demand begin to pick up again.
For the week ending 12 July, the volumes sold declined by 26.6% week-on-week. The price of onions has also declined slightly by 2% compared to the previous week. Even though the demand for onions has been healthy during this winter season, which has also been a tough season economically, the demand for onions this week has however slowed down slightly. We believe it is due to it being the middle of the month, and demand should pick again closer to the month-end period. The price is expected to decline over the next two months and to then increase from the beginning of September onwards.
The price and volumes sold of potatoes declined this week by 2.5% and 28.4% respectively, compared to the previous week. Currently the potatoes in the market are from the Eastern and Western Free State, Limpopo and Northern Cape regions. The supply from these regions has been good. The demand for potatoes at the fresh produce markets on the other hand, has been poor. Due to it being winter, stock for market customers stays fresh for longer, which also reduces the frequency of fresh produce purchases. The expectation over the next 3 months is for potato prices to continue to trade sideways.
The price for tomatoes declined further this week by 0.7% week-on-week. This is in response to reduced demand. The current unfavourable economic conditions are also the reason for the prices this year being 11.7% lower than prices this time last year. The supply for tomatoes this week is still average and volumes sold declined by 26.4% compared to the previous week. Our expectation over the next 3 months is for tomato prices to decline further.