NZ: Cauliflower prices at record high

Food prices rose 0.5 percent in March 2016, Statistics New Zealand said today. This was influenced by rises across a range of vegetables, including record high prices for cauliflower. After adjusting for seasonal effects, food prices rose 0.8 percent.

Vegetable prices rose 3.8 percent, led by higher prices for tomatoes, lettuce, and cauliflower. “Cauliflower prices rose 66 percent to reach their highest level since our series began in 1994. The average price of a 1.5kg head of cauliflower was $8.24,” consumer prices manager Matt Haigh said. "A combination of dry weather and high demand has pushed up prices for a range of vegetables." Prices for tomatoes and lettuce were both 14 percent higher than this time last year, and cauliflower prices were 47 percent higher.

Non-alcoholic beverage prices rose 1.9 percent, reflecting less discounting on energy drinks and soft drinks. Grocery food prices rose 0.3 percent, influenced by confectionery (up 8.7 percent), snacks (up 5.3 percent), and bread (up 1.6 percent).

Meat, poultry, and fish prices fell 0.2 percent, with lower prices for lamb (down 5.0 percent). Beef prices continued to rise from last month, up 0.7 percent in March to a record high. The average price of one kilogram of porterhouse steak was $30.37.

Food prices fall slightly compared with last year

Food prices were 0.1 percent lower than in March 2015. This was influenced by a 2.7 percent decrease in grocery food prices, driven by lower prices for fresh milk (down 9.0 percent), cakes and biscuits (down 7.7 percent), and yoghurt (down 13 percent).

Fruit and vegetable prices increased 3.6 percent, with higher prices for avocados, lettuce, tomatoes, cauliflower, and broccoli. These were partly offset by price decreases for kumara and carrots.

Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices rose 1.9 percent.


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