Inflation in South Africa in April dropped to the lowest level in almost a year although food prices remained obstinately high, the national statistics agency StatsSA said on Wednesday.

Annual consumer inflation slowed to 6.8 percent last month, down from 7.1 percent in March.

"This is the lowest reading since May 2022, when the rate was 6.5 percent," the agency said in a statement.

Inflation for food and non-alcoholic beverages inched back to 13.9 percent in April from 14 percent in March, having experienced record increases over the past 12 months.

Milk, eggs and cheese products recorded an annual price increase of 14.5 percent, the largest rise since January 2009, according to StatsSA.

"On average, vegetables were 23.1 percent more expensive in April 2023 compared with April 2022," the agency said. "This is the highest annual rate since November 2007."

Onions experienced a 52.8 percent hike in cost. Carrots, peppers and potatoes also pushed the rate up, although prices for meat, oils and transport fell back.

Despite the overall drop, analysts expect South Africa's central bank to raise interest rates again this week.

Policymakers around the world are battling elevated inflation caused largely by surging energy and food prices following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.