Food prices in New Zealand climbed an unadjusted 1.2 percent on month in January, Statistics New Zealand said on Wednesday – following the 0.8 percent decline in December.
Fruit and vegetable prices rose 2.0 percent on month, while meat, poultry, and fish prices rose 2.4 percent and grocery food prices rose 1.4 percent.
Non-alcoholic beverage prices rose 1.2 percent and restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices rose 0.1 percent.
“Some dairy products and produce items were affected by adverse conditions during winter and spring,” consumer prices manager Geoffrey Wong said. “This has contributed to higher prices over the past nine months.”
Butter prices increased 43 percent in the year to January 2018, reaching their highest-ever level. The average price for a cheapest available 500g block of butter was NZ$5.78 in January 2018, compared with $4.06 in January 2017.
Avocado and pumpkin prices more than doubled in the year to January 2018. Avocados were at their highest price for a January month since 2004. The average price of a 200g avocado was NZ$2.78 in January 2018, compared with NZ$1.29 in January 2017.
“These higher annual prices for avocado and pumpkin were partly offset by lower prices for apples, tomatoes, and carrots,” Wong said.
Seasonally adjusted, food prices were down 0.6 percent on month.
On a yearly basis, food prices added 0.8 percent.
Fruit and vegetable prices shed 1.8 percent on year, while meat, poultry, and fish prices increased 0.9 percent and grocery food prices increased 1.0 percent.
Non-alcoholic beverage prices eased 0.2 percent and restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices increased 2.4 percent.