New Zealand food prices fall for 1st time since Feb


Food prices in New Zealand fell 0.9 per cent in October compared with the previous month, mainly influenced by lower prices for fruit and vegetables, non-alcoholic beverages, and meat, poultry, and fish, the country’s statistics department Stats NZ said on Thursday.

October’s movement was the first monthly fall since February 2021, when prices also fell 0.9 per cent, Xinhua news agency quoted the department as saying.

Fruit and vegetable prices fell 5.9 per cent in October, with lower prices for tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, capsicums and cucumbers. These falls were partly offset by rising prices for kiwifruit, broccoli and carrots, it said.

Although the weighted average price of tomatoes was down from the price in September, tomato prices are still 47 per cent higher than they were in October 2020, consumer prices manager Katrina Dewbery said.

Lettuce, capsicum, and cucumber prices were also all higher than they were in October last year, Dewbery said.

Meat, poultry, and fish prices fell 0.4 per cent in October, with lower prices for chicken pieces and roasting pork, she said.

These falls were partly offset by restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices. Grocery food prices were flat, she said.

Annually, food prices increased 3.7 per cent in October 2021, mainly due to higher prices for restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food, fruit and vegetables, and grocery food, the statistics showed.

October’s annual movement was slightly lower than September’s 4 per cent increase, but still higher than the average annual increase over the last year of 2.3 per cent, Dewbery said.