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Food prices up 1.4 percent in June
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  11 July 2014

Food Price Index: June 2014  –  Media Release

Food prices rose 1.4 percent in June 2014, Statistics New Zealand said today. This rise followed 0.6 percent rises in both May and April.

“Food prices in June were influenced by seasonally higher prices for fresh vegetables and higher meat prices,” prices manager Chris Pike said.

Vegetable prices rose 8.9 percent, while fruit prices fell 0.5 percent. Higher prices were recorded for tomato, lettuce, and cucumber. The average tomato price of $9.25 per kilo in June 2014, compares with $8.97 in June 2013 and $10.17 in June 2012.  Prices for mandarins, oranges, and bananas fell in June. Banana prices fell to an average of $2.24 per kilo – their lowest level since August 2011.

Prices for meat, poultry, and fish rose 3.6 percent, the largest monthly rise since July 2011. This reflects higher prices for chicken (up 9.9 percent) and beef (up 5.0 percent), both influenced by less discounting.

Grocery food prices rose 0.5 percent, influenced by higher prices for dairy products. Prices rose for butter (up 7.7 percent), yoghurt (up 3.6 percent), cheese (up 0.8 percent), and fresh milk (up 0.2 percent). Fresh milk prices are now at their highest level. These rises were partly offset by a fall in prices for bread and cereals (down 0.3 percent), influenced by lower prices for bread, and for cakes and biscuits.

Annual change in prices

In the year to June 2014, food prices increased 1.2 percent. Food prices are now at their highest level since they peaked in July 2011.

Prices increased for grocery food (up 1.3 percent), influenced by higher prices for dairy products. Prices for fresh milk (up 11 percent), cheese (up 12 percent), yoghurt (up 7.2 percent), and butter (up 12 percent) increased in the year. The average retail price for the cheapest available 2-litre blue-top milk was $3.62 in June 2014, compared with $3.19 in June 2013.

Meat, poultry, and fish prices increased 2.8 percent in the year, and are now at their highest level, reflecting higher prices for beef (up 6.9 percent), lamb (20 percent), and chicken (up 2.4 percent). Beef prices are at their highest level, 3.1 percent higher than their previous peak in April 2014. Lamb prices are now 14 percent below their peak in August 2011.

In the year, fruit and vegetable prices decreased 2.3 percent, reflecting lower prices for both fruit (down 5.1 percent) and vegetables (0.3 percent). Lower prices were recorded for avocados, bananas, capsicum, and kumara.

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.

Ends

For media enquiries contact: Chris Pike, Wellington 04 931 4600, info@stats.govt.nz

Authorised by Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician, 11 July 2014

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