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Food prices showed no overall change in January 2012, but were up 1.0 percent on a year earlier, Statistics New Zealand said today. In January, higher prices for fruit and vegetables (up 3.6 percent) were offset by lower prices for meat, poultry, and fish (down 1.8 percent) and non-alcoholic beverages (down 0.9 percent).
In January, fruit prices rose 5.4 percent, with seasonal increases for mandarins, strawberries, grapes, apples, and avocados. Fruit prices usually peak in January each year. Nectarines recorded seasonally lower prices – down 27 percent for the month.
Vegetable prices rose 2.1 percent in January, with higher prices for lettuce and pumpkin. The average price for pumpkin was $5.07 per kg, compared with $2.45 per kg in January 2011. Higher pumpkin prices reflected a supply shortage that started in December 2011.
The fall in meat, poultry, and fish prices in January 2012 was influenced by more discounting for chicken pieces (down 8.7 percent) than in December.
In the year to January 2012, four of the five subgroups made upward contributions to the food price index (FPI). The main contribution came from grocery food (up 2.4 percent). Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food (up 2.2 percent) also increased, as did non-alcoholic beverages (up 2.2 percent), and meat, poultry, and fish (up 0.2 percent). The fruit and vegetables subgroup decreased 4.4 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.
Food Price Index: January 2012 – Information release