Agbiz: Fuel price hike to offset food price decreases

The Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) says the overall food inflation rate will still be lower this year compared to 2016.

CAPE TOWN – The Agricultural Business Chamber says next month’s expected fuel hike will offset some of the decreases in food prices over the next year.

Quoting the Central Energy Fund’s figures, the Chamber’s Wandile Sihlobo says the petrol price could increase by 55 cents next month, and diesel by 37 cents per litre.

According to some experts, the hike can be directly attributed to the weaker rand brought about by last month’s midnight Cabinet reshuffle and the subsequent credit rating downgrades earlier this month.

But Sihlobo says the overall food inflation rate will still be lower this year compared to 2016.

“Had we been in a situation where the fuel was also maintaining a downward trend we were going to see much more benefits in our pockets. But because fuel is playing against what the overall food suppliers are pricing, that does limit the benefits that we see in our pockets.”

Debt Rescue’s Neil Roets has warned consumers to tighten their belts.

“We are going to see a lot of price increases in the next few months and people must plan for that. If they don’t already have budgets, they must make sure they draw one up and stick to it because we are definitely going to have a rough 2017.”

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