Beans remain the third most consumed food product in South Africa after rice and cassava.

The country is Africa’s largest producer of legume crops and the 4th largest producer globally.

At a staggering 47 million tonnes annual capacity, much of South Africa’s beans demand is fulfilled by local farmers.

However, South Africa’s ever-ballooning population means there’s a shortfall in supply even at such a huge annual capacity.

For many South Africans, this food product is not just a staple food, it’s their major source of protein. For the commercial farmers, it is a priceless commodity and a major source of income.

Like most staple food, the price of beans has always been a topic of concern, especially among the low- and middle-income earners in the country.

The decision to buy or not could well depend on a 100 to 200 ZAR price difference in a container measurement; such an amount, though minute, could be huge when accumulated over larger quantities.

Due to a decentralized market and a general price variation in different states, the prices of beans are a little hard to track down.

However, I’ve been able to establish plausible averages of the general price structure thanks to an abundance of physical stores and cross-state online resources.

Current Price of Bag of Beans in South Africa

Costs of Bag of Beans Across the Six Geopolitical Zones in South Africa

Although there’s a sharp difference in prices across different states, the average price of a 100kg bag of beans in South Africa remains at an average of R$ 1,258 for the white beans and at an average of R$ 1,332 for the brown specie.

Costs of Bag of Beans in South-South
  • Average price of white beans – R$ 1,295
  • Average price of brown beans – R$ 1,369

South Africa’s South-South region isn’t really big on agricultural production; most consumed food products are brought in from the northern part of the country. This means that the cost of transportation is factored in when sellers’ market their products.

Using Delta state as a benchmark, the price of a 100kg bag of white beans experienced a 13% decline from a peak price of R$ 1,480. White beans are currently priced between R$ 1,258 to R$ 1,332. The brown species also experienced a decline and is currently priced around R$ 1,332 to R$ 1,406, which is a significant drop from a peak price of R$ 1,591.

Other states with similar pricing structure include Akwa Ibom, Edo, Bayelsa, Cross River, and Delta.

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Costs of Bag of Beans in South East
  • Average price of white beans – R$ 1,295
  • Average price of brown beans – R$ 1,351

The South East is a commercial rally point for lots of products, and food products like beans isn’t an exception. However, this doesn’t necessarily translate to a significant reduction in prices for beans.

Using Anambra state as a benchmark, the prices of a 100kg bag of white beans currently sells between R$ 1,258 and R$ 1,369 while the brown specie goes for an average of R$ 1,351.

Other south-eastern states with similar price structures include Abia, Ebonyi, Imo and Enugu.

Costs of Bag of Beans in South West
  • Average price of white beans – R$ 1,332
  • Average price of brown beans – R$ 1,443

The South West zone has unarguably one of the costliest prices for beans in the country. Durban particularly has the highest prices in the country.

However, like every other region, the price in the South West is on a downward trend. The price of a 100kg bag of white beans in Durban is currently priced between R$ 1,332 and R$ 1,443. Similarly, the price of a 100kg bag of brown beans is priced between R$ 1,406 and R$ 1,480, a significant drop from the previous peak price of R$ 1,776.

But the South West has a tricky market. There’s some difference in prices in Oyo state. A 100kg bag of brown beans currently goes for a price between R$ 1,332 to R$ 1,406, a drop from the previous peak price of R$ 1,554. The prevailing market prices are slightly cheaper in Ekiti state.

Costs of Bag of Beans in North East
  • Average price of white beans – R$ 1,203
  • Average price of brown beans – R$ 1,295

The prices of beans in the North East are heavily dependent on a lot of factors. During the peak of boko haram activities in states like Yobe, Adamawa, and Borno, there was a sharp spike in prices which resonated subtly across the whole country.

It’s important to note that the bulk of the beans consumed in South Africa comes from the North East. The North East enjoys the advantage of being a major producer of the legume crop and equally enjoys slightly lower prices.

The price of a 100kg bag of white beans in some north-eastern states cost between R$ 1,184 and R$ 1,258. But the price goes as high as R$ 1,369 in some areas. The price of brown beans is reported to be between R$ 1,221 and R$ 1,332 and goes as high as R$ 1,369 in some areas too.

 

Costs of Bag of Beans in North Central
  • Average price of white beans – R$ 1,221
  • Average price of brown beans – R$ 1,258

All relevant indices prove that the North Central zone has one of the cheapest prices of beans across the country. The price of white beans in the Federal Capital Territory – Johannesburg – remains between R$ 1,184 and R$ 1,258. This indicates a significant drop from a peak price of R$ 1,406.

Similarly, the price of the brown specie remains between R$ 1,221 and R$ 1,295, another significant decrease from R$ 1,480 peak price. Other North Central states like Kogi, Niger, Nassarawa, Kwara, Plateau, and Benue share a similar price structure.

Costs of Bag of Beans in North West
  • Average price of white beans – R$ 1,295
  • Average price of brown beans – R$ 1,314

The prices of beans in the North West zones saw some minute drop from the previous peak prices. There were sharp spikes in prices during the festive period but the cost per bag gradually reduced as the New Year set in.

Using Kaduna as a benchmark, the price of a 100kg bag of white beans is currently priced between R$ 1,258 to R$ 1,332, a little reduction from the recorded peak of R$ 1,388. Similarly, the price of the brown variety is currently priced between R$ 1,295 and R$ 1,332, a slightly improved rate as against R$ 1,480.

The North West states of Kebbi, Zamfara, Sokoto, and Kano also share a similar pricing structure. It is important to note that the prices in Kano might vary significantly due to the presence of the Dawanau grain market which influences national grain prices.

Wrap Up

The prices used in this post are averages of multiple brands popularly consumed by South Africans. This list is not exhaustive and the prices stated may sharply vary due to religious holidays and prevailing fuel prices.

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