Chop en dop could be a sad affair this coming festive season after economists warned that the price of red meat might increase by between nine to 15 percent from now until December.
This was due to tight supply and increased demand from consumers during the festive season, says Paul Makube, senior agricultural economist at FNB.
Makube said yesterday that red meat slaughtering had been substantially higher this year compared to the past three years as a result of the drought.
The cumulative sheep slaughter number was currently 111 percent higher than the 2015.
Despite this increase, Makube said consumers should not experience an oversupply of meat which would have resulted in lower prices due to exports and a strong demand for meat in the tourism sector.
“In terms of the outlook for beef, we are heading into a seasonal price increase of between R3.40 and R5.70 per kg for Class A beef as braai season returns,” Makube said.
“Consumers that prefer to braai lamb can expect to pay between R5.60 and R9.40 per kg more for Class A lamb over the festive period.”
Makube said red meat prices were currently “relatively stable to strong” due to tight supplies, as livestock farmers hold onto stock and avoid slaughtering in the hope that pasture conditions will improve when it starts raining.
The good news is the price of poultry won’t change much “due to increasing imports”.
Makube also cautioned that prices would have to return to normal levels in January to avoid resistance from consumers.