Fruit and vegetable prices dropped 5.6 per cent in October 2020 compared to the month before, as the local growing season picked up. This is according to Stats NZ information. Tomato prices were down 38 per cent, to an average $8.18 per kilogram, from a record $13.65 in August. Cucumber prices fell 29 per cent, lettuce 22 per cent, capsicum 16 per cent and courgettes 46 per cent.
Fruit and vegetable prices follow a seasonal trend and typically fall in October, with the lowest prices for the year in summer. Apples, carrots, kiwifruit and broccoli were all more expensive in the month.
Growers have raised concerns about being unable to find sufficient workers to pick their crops, while the country’s borders remain closed. Infometrics senior economist Brad Olsen said it was not yet clear what effect that would have on prices, claiming there had also been price spikes caused by growers dialling back their production, expecting less demand, and then being caught out when the hospitality industry returned to normal.