Rising vegetable prices were the largest contributor to a 0.4 percent rise for food prices in May 2021, Stats NZ said today.
Vegetable prices rose 3.4 percent in May, with rising prices for tomatoes, capsicum, and lettuce. These rises were partly offset by lower prices for fruit, down 5.2 percent, with falling prices for kiwifruit and mandarins.
Tomato prices continued to rise in May, up 17 percent, after having more than doubled in April. See Tomatoes and cucumbers drive up April food prices. Capsicum prices rose 30 percent in May to a weighted average price of $19.07 per kilo.
“Capsicum prices usually go up this time of the year when there is less domestic supply,” consumer prices manager Katrina Dewbery said. “We tend to see more being imported from overseas during winter.”
Kiwifruit prices fell 40 percent to a weighted average price of $3.60 per kilo and mandarin prices fell 26 percent to a weighted average price of $5.02 per kilo, which often happens as winter approaches.
Annual food prices increase
Annual food prices increased 1.8 percent (between May 2020 to May 2021), following a 0.7 percent increase in the year to April 2021.
“Although monthly food price movements fluctuate over time, annual food prices have increased for nearly three years. The last time we saw an annual fall was in August 2018, when food prices fell 0.1 percent,” Mrs Dewbery said.
Food prices have increased 6.5 percent over the three years since May 2018. As a comparison, the consumers price index increased 5.6 percent in the three years between the March 2018 and March 2021 quarters (these are the most recent CPI figures).
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