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Avocado prices smash records

13 June 2018

Avocado prices rose 37 percent in May to record levels after a small harvest, Stats NZ said today. However, prices fell for other fruit and vegetables, such as mandarins and broccoli.

The average price for a 200g avocado rose to $5.06 in May 2018, up 37 percent from $3.69 in April 2018. The price in May this year, up 50 percent from $3.38 in May 2017, is the highest ever for avocados since the series began. Stats NZ prices avocados per kilogram, and the latest movement reflects both higher prices and smaller fruit.

“Seasonality impacts avocado prices,” prices manager Matthew Haigh said. “Typically, avocado prices peak in July and August, as the main harvest season is from August to March.”

According to the New Zealand Avocado Growers Association, harvest volumes in the year to June 2018 were down to around half that for the previous season. This decrease affected the average retail prices of avocados in the past 12 months.

Overall, food prices remained flat in May, falling 0.1 percent after seasonal adjustment. Falls in fruit and vegetable prices were offset by rises in meat, poultry, and fish prices. Fruit and vegetable prices fell 2.0 percent in the month, influenced by lower prices for mandarins (down 35 percent), kiwifruit (down 39 percent), and tomatoes (down 6.5 percent). Meat, poultry, and fish prices rose 0.8 percent, influenced by higher prices for chicken (up 6.1 percent) and lamb (up 7.2 percent).

Fruit and vegetable prices fall from last year’s highs

Food prices decreased 0.1 percent in the year to May 2018, influenced by lower fruit and vegetable prices (down 10 percent). Prices fell for lettuce (down 52 percent), tomatoes (down 24 percent), and broccoli (down 43 percent). These falls follow large price increases in 2017, as New Zealand growers lost crops due to poor weather.

Despite the overall price fall, there were increases in restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices (up 2.9 percent), and non-alcoholic beverage prices (up 4.6 percent). The minimum wage increase of 75 cents to $16.50 an hour on 1 April 2018 may be a partial factor for these price increases.

Video

View our Food price index: May 2018 video.

For more information about these statistics:
• Visit Food price index: May 2018
• See CSV files for download

ends

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