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Food prices fall 0.5 percent for August
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  13 September 2013

Food Price Index: August 2013  –  Media Release

Food prices fell 0.5 percent in August 2013 but were up 0.3 percent on a year earlier, Statistics New Zealand said today. The fall in August 2013 follows rises of 0.5 percent in July and 2.1 percent in June.

“In August, food prices fell for the first time in five months, reflecting cheaper fruit, meat, bread, and cereal products such as biscuits and breakfast cereals,” prices manager Chris Pike said.

In August 2013, grocery food prices fell 0.8 percent, influenced by cheaper bread and cereals (down 2.2 percent). 

Meat, poultry, and fish prices fell 1.7 percent, influenced by lower prices for most types of meat, including beef (down 3.7 percent) and pork (down 5.8 percent).

Fruit prices fell 4.4 percent in the month of August, influenced by seasonally lower prices for avocados, strawberries, and nectarines. The fall in fruit prices was mostly offset by rising vegetable prices (up 2.6 percent), influenced by higher prices for tomatoes (up 47 percent to $12.43 per kilo). 

Non-alcoholic beverage prices rose 1.2 percent, influenced by packaged coffee (up 6.1 percent).

Annual change in prices

In the year to August 2013, the food price index (FPI) increased 0.3 percent.

Fruit and vegetable prices increased 1.9 percent, influenced by lettuce (up 29 percent) and potatoes (up 12 percent). These increases were partly offset by lower prices for strawberries (down 12 percent).

Prices also increased for non-alcoholic beverages (up 1.2 percent), and restaurant meals (up 1.8 percent).

The main downward contribution for the year came from grocery food prices (down 0.5 percent). These were influenced by lower prices for confectionery, nuts, and snacks (down 1.5 percent) as well as cereal products such as cakes and biscuits (down 3.1 percent). Lower prices were also recorded for meat, poultry, and fish (down 0.5 percent), influenced by lamb (down 6.5 percent) and chicken (down 1.0 percent).

The FPI measures the rate of price change of food and food services purchased by households. Statistics NZ visits shops across New Zealand to collect prices for the FPI and check package sizes.


For media enquiries contact: Authorised by:

Chris Pike
Wellington 04 931 4600

Published 13 September 2013

Liz MacPherson
Government Statistician
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