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NZ food prices fall in April

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 11/05/2017 Tina Morrison

New Zealand food prices fell in April as increases in vegetable prices were offset by declines for grocery foods.

The food price index declined a seasonally adjusted 0.2 per cent last month, Statistics New Zealand said. On an unadjusted basis, food prices fell 0.8 per cent on the month.

Fruit and vegetable prices increased overall by 4.2 per cent, with a 1.2 per cent decline in fruit prices offset by a 9.1 per cent gain in vegetable prices, Stats NZ said.

Meanwhile, grocery food prices, which account for more than a third of the index, dropped 2.1 per cent on the month, the agency said.

"The cost of throwing a party fell in April, with lower prices for grocery foods such as potato chips, chocolate biscuits, and crackers," Stats NZ consumer prices manager Matthew Haigh said.

"Other party favourites, such as soft drinks, grapes, and carrots, also fell in price.

"Vegetable prices were influenced by some seasonal increases as well as heavy rain affecting some crops," Mr Haigh said.

"The largest upwards contributors were mostly salad items, with higher prices for tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber, and avocados."

The average price for a 250-gram pack of crackers was $2.91 in April, down from $3.15 in March and the lowest price for crackers since August 2010, the agency said.

Non-alcoholic beverage prices fell 2.7 per cent in April, influenced by a 3.2 per cent decline in soft drink prices. The average price for a 1.5 litre soft drink was $2.35 in April, down from $2.56 in March.

Meat, poultry, and fish prices fell 1.7 per cent, with lower prices for pork and processed meat.

The average price for a kilogram of pork chops was $13.84 in April, down from $15.68 in March. Chicken prices dropped 4.2 per cent over the year and have been falling annually since June 2015, the agency said.

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