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Vegetable prices bolt in March

Vegetable prices bolt in March – Media release

16 April 2018

Tomato, lettuce, cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli prices rose sharply in March 2018, boosting vegetable prices 9.5 percent in the month after adjusting for typically seasonal changes, Stats NZ said today.

“Vegetable crops have been affected by a run of storms in recent weeks – lower supply due to bad weather usually means higher prices,” consumer prices manager Matthew Haigh said.

“In February, we saw rising prices for lettuce, broccoli, and cauliflower, due to a combination of humid weather and cyclone Gita. As expected, that wet weather has affected vegetable prices in March too.”

Tomatoes rose more than 60 percent in March to $4.65 a kilo. In March last year, tomatoes were 83 cents cheaper at $3.82 a kilo.

Lettuce prices were up 20 percent in March to $2.94 per 500 gram head, while cauliflower rose 85 percent to $8.35 a kilo.

Cabbage prices rose by more than $1.00 a kilo in March to $3.18 a kilo (up 50 percent). Broccoli also increased more than $1.00 a kilo to $8.35 a kilo (up 20 per cent).

However, as usual for the time of year, apple prices fell – down 16 percent to $2.70 a kilo. Fruit prices rose 0.2 percent in March.

Overall, food prices rose 1.0 percent in March. This rise was mainly driven by the lift in vegetable prices, up 11 percent. Meat prices rose 1.2 percent in the month. There was no change in grocery and non-alcoholic beverage prices in March and little change in restaurant and takeaways prices (up 0.1 percent).

Video about Food Price Index: March 2018

View our video Food Price Index: March 2018

Ends

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