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Food Price Index: October 2017
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  20 November 2017
Commentary

Fruit and vegetable prices fall 6.8 percent for the month

Food prices fell 1.1 percent in October 2017, following a 0.2 percent fall in September 2017. After adjusting for seasonal effects, food prices fell 0.1 percent.

Fruit and vegetable prices fell 6.8 percent in October, driven by a 10 percent fall in vegetable prices (down 1.9 percent after seasonal adjustment). The fall in vegetable prices was influenced by tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber, and capsicum. Prices for fruit fell 1.0 percent, led by lower prices for bananas.

The average price for a kilo of tomatoes was $7.68 in October 2017, compared with $10.02 in September 2017.

Grocery food prices fell 0.8 percent for the month, influence by more discounting on yoghurt and chocolate.

Non-alcoholic beverage prices showed no overall change in October 2017, while restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices rose 0.1 percent.

Meat, poultry, and fish prices rose 0.8 percent in October 2017, influenced by higher prices for beef (up 4.0 percent), and processed meat (up 2.3 percent).

 

 The following graph shows the index points contribution to the food price index of items that rose or fell in price for each month.

Graph, Index points contribution to food price index, items that rose or fell in price, October 2016 to October 2017.  

Annual food prices increase 2.7 percent

In the year ended October 2017, food prices increased 2.7 percent. This followed a 3.0 percent increase in the year to September 2017.

Grocery food prices increased 2.8 percent for the year to October 2017, led by higher prices for most dairy products including butter, fresh milk, and cheese.

Fruit and vegetable prices increased 4.4 percent for the year. Vegetable prices increased 3.9 percent, driven by higher prices for kumara, pumpkins, and potatoes. Fruit prices increased 5.2 percent, with higher prices for avocados. Avocado prices have increased from $1.47 for a 200g avocado in October 2016 to $2.42 in October 2017.

Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices increased 2.3 percent in the year to October 2017.

Non-alcoholic beverage prices increased 2.2 percent, influenced by higher prices for coffee.

Meat, poultry, and fish prices increased 1.4 percent, with higher prices for beef (up 3.7 percent).

 

Longer-term retail picture: Dairy prices increase

Milk, cheese, and egg prices increased 5.9 percent in the year to October 2017, with higher prices for fresh milk and cheese. This continues a general increase to dairy products in the year, with annual butter prices up 62 percent, to its highest level since the series began.

Fresh milk prices increased 7.5 percent in the year, while cheese prices increased 12 percent. The average price for a kilo of cheapest available cheddar cheese was $8.79 in October 2017, compared with $7.22 in October 2016.

Butter prices reached a new record high – $5.67 for the cheapest available 500g block, compared with $3.50 in October 2016.

Basket and weight review

For October 2017, we’ve also introduced new items to our basket of food items and adjusted their relative importance to reflect New Zealanders’ evolving purchasing habits. For more, see Olives squeeze out luncheon sausage.

Find data tables

For more detailed data from the FPI, see the Excel tables in the 'Downloads' box.

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