MEAT PRICES SET TO RISE
THOUGH MEAT PRICES are lower now than in December, the long-term trend – according to local and US industry leaders – remains sharply upwards.
Meat prices, which rose by as much as 40% in SA last year (depending on the cut and the locality of the market), have fallen about 20% since the beginning of January. Though lower prices are normal after the seasonal upturn in December, Gary Moorcroft of auctioneers Epla says a higher number of cattle farmers are being forced to sell because the drought has depressed prices further.
When farmers build up their herds again and prices start rising in line with worldwide increases in the prices of agricultural products, they could again show above-average increases.
According to the SA Meat Industry Company (Safic), the US Department of Agriculture (Usda) expects a longterm decline in per capita consumption because prices are rising so sharply. The increasingly expensive maize (it’s being used more and more for ethanol production) and other feed cost increases will, according to Usda, simply be passed on to the consumer.
University of Pretoria agricultural economist Ferdi Meyer says SA will be seeing a “sharp increase in food prices”, in line with the high world prices and as a result of the poor harvests. This means maize prices, which have risen more than 200% over the past year or two, could escalate, which will, of course, filter through to feed prices and in the end mean above-average meat prices.