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Food prices go bananas in September

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 12/10/2016 Tina Morrison

New Zealand food prices declined in September, impacted by cheaper bananas, lamb and chicken.

Food prices fell a seasonally adjusted 0.2 per cent in September following a 1.3 per cent jump in August, Statistics New Zealand said. On an unadjusted basis, food prices slid 0.9 per cent in the month.

Fruit and vegetable prices fell 5.1 per cent in September after jumping 5.8 per cent in August. Vegetable prices dropped 5.5 per cent with seasonally lower prices for tomatoes, capsicum and cucumber.

Fruit prices declined 4.4 per cent as bananas slid 13 per cent to $3.05/kg after spiking 22 per cent in August to a record high of $3.51/kg due to a supply shortage.

Meat, poultry and fish prices fell 0.9 per cent. Mutton, lamb and hogget prices slid 4.5 per cent with the price of lamb chops down 6.9 per cent to $13.42/kg and chicken breasts declining 4.2 per cent to $13.52/kg, the lowest level since October 2007.

"The generally falling prices for chicken in recent months are the result of expanded investment in farming operations by the New Zealand poultry industry," Poultry Industry Association executive director Michael Brooks said.

On an annual basis, food prices advanced 0.1 per cent in the year through September.

The food price index accounts for about 19 per cent of the consumers price index, which is the Reserve Bank's mandated inflation target when setting interest rates.

Statistics NZ is scheduled to publish September quarter consumer prices next Tuesday.

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