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Thursday 21 October 2021

Food prices rise for fifth consecutive month

13th September 2021 By Staff Reporter | | @foodtickernz

Food prices rose for the fifth consecutive month in August mainly due to higher prices for meat, poultry and fish, and restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food, according to Stats NZ.

Prices were up 0.3% in August compared with July 2021, although this fell back to 0.2% when adjusting for seasonality.

In July prices rose 1.3%, in June they were up 1.4%, May saw a 0.4% rise, and before that there was a 1.1% increase in April.

Meat, poultry, and fish prices were up 1.3% in August, mainly influenced by higher prices for roasting pork which was up 11%, followed by lamb chops up 5.4%.

Sausages were up 3.5%, and porterhouse and sirloin steak also both rose 2.3%. The red meat rises were partly offset by lower prices for chicken pieces, which posted a 3.3% contraction.

Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices were up by 0.4% in August, which Stats NZ said was influenced by higher prices for some takeaway food.

It added that Covid-19 restrictions had a “minimal effect” on price collection in August.

“Monthly field price collection, which includes most restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food, was completed under alert level 1, and supermarket scanner data, along with weekly fruit and vegetable prices collection, provides us with good coverage of all other items,” Stats NZ consumer prices manager Katrina Dewbery said.

There were some big movers in the fruit and vegetable category, namely grapes and tomatoes, but these were tempered by seasonal adjustments across the category as a whole, which saw the monthly increase of 0.4% move to a contraction of 0.2%.

“The weighted average price of both tomatoes and grapes rose sharply to $15.79 and $11.52 per kilogram, respectively,” said Dewbery.

The price of tomatoes previously peaked at $13.65 in August 2020, while grape prices peaked at $10.61 in November 2020.

These rises were partly offset by falling prices for broccoli down 26%, avocado down 21%, strawberries down 19%, and capsicums down 12%.

On an annual basis, food prices increased 2.4% in August 2021, led by higher prices for restaurant meals and ready-to-eat foods which rose 4.6%. This was followed by a 2.2% increase in meat, poultry, and fish, a 2.1% climb in fruit and vegetable prices, and a 1.9% uptick in grocery food.



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