Falling apple prices keep food prices in check

With the arrival of new season stock, apple prices have fallen 48 per cent from their peak in January, Statistics NZ said.

Falling apple and potato prices helped keep overall food prices low in March, with an overall rise of just 0.1 per cent, Statistics NZ figures show.

Food prices fell 0.7 per cent in February, after ticking up more than 1 per cent in January.

In March, there were the typical seasonal falls in fruit and vegetables. Fruit prices fell 2.6 per cent and vegetables were down 3.5 per cent. While apples and potatoes were down, that was countered by a rise in prices for strawberries and tomatoes.

But grocery prices rose 1.2 per cent in March, with rises almost across the board.

"Less discounting on items such as biscuits, yoghurt, and sauces contributed to higher grocery prices. This was countered by lower prices for fruit and vegetables," Statistics NZ prices manager Chris Pike said.

For the March year, food prices were up 1.9 per cent. It was the biggest annual rise since December 2011.

Fruit and vegetable prices increased 7 per cent in the past year. Prices were higher for lettuce, potatoes, bananas, strawberries, carrots, and dried apricots, while prices for tomatoes, avocados, and cucumber were lower. Banana prices, at $3.05 a kilo, are now at their highest level since their series began.

Grocery food prices increased 0.5 per cent in the year to March.

Source: stuff.co.nz

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