Food prices fall 0.3 percent in February month
13 March 2013
Food prices fell 0.3 percent in the February month, and were slightly down on a year earlier, Statistics New Zealand said today.
“Lower food prices in February reflected cheaper meat and seasonally lower prices for fruit and veg,” prices manager Chris Pike said.
Lower prices for porterhouse/sirloin beef steak (down 5.6 percent) led the fall in meat, poultry, and fish prices, which fell 1.4 percent. Prices for chicken pieces (down 2.6 percent) and lamb (down 6.2 percent) also fell.
Fruit and vegetable prices fell 1.6 percent, influenced by seasonal falls for apples (down 13 percent), pumpkin (down 38 percent), and grapes (down 29 percent). Seasonal price rises for lettuce (up 32 percent) and strawberries (up 26 percent) partly offset the falls.
There was no overall change for grocery food, with price rises offset by price falls. The price of fresh milk (up 2.1 percent) showed the largest monthly rise since July 2010, and is at its highest level since May 2012. The price of boxed chocolates (down 21 percent) falls every February, when Valentine's Day occurs.
Prices for non-alcoholic beverages rose 1.3 percent, influenced by less discounting for soft drinks (up 1.3 percent).
Annual change in prices
For the year to February 2013, the food price index (FPI) decreased 0.1 percent.
Grocery food (down 2.1 percent) made the main downward contribution for the year, led by fresh milk (down 6.0 percent), butter (down 20 percent), and cheese (down 5.4 percent).
Meat, poultry, and fish prices decreased 1.2 percent, largely due to porterhouse/sirloin beef steak (down 4.5 percent) and lamb (down 8.8 percent).
Fruit and vegetables increased 6.3 percent, mainly due to price increases for avocados (up 150 percent), kumara (up 59 percent), apples (up 18 percent), and lettuce (up 30 percent). There was a smaller crop for avocados in 2012, following a bumper season in 2011. Poor weather conditions in both the planting and harvesting seasons affected the kumara crop in 2012.
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.
information about these statistics:
• Visit Food Price Index: February 2013
• Open the attached files