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Lowest annual increase in food prices since April 2017

Food prices increased 0.8 percent in the year to January 2018, Stats NZ said today. This was the smallest annual increase in food prices since April 2017.

“Some dairy products and produce items were affected by adverse conditions during winter and spring,” consumer prices manager Geoffrey Wong said. “This has contributed to higher prices over the past nine months.”

Butter prices increased 43 percent in the year to January 2018, reaching their highest-ever level. The average price for a cheapest available 500g block of butter was $5.78 in January 2018, compared with $4.06 in January 2017.

Avocado and pumpkin prices more than doubled in the year to January 2018. Avocados were at their highest price for a January month since 2004. The average price of a 200g avocado was $2.78 in January 2018, compared with $1.29 in January 2017.

“These higher annual prices for avocado and pumpkin were partly offset by lower prices for apples, tomatoes, and carrots,” Mr Wong said.

Monthly food prices rise 1.2 percent

Food prices rose 1.2 percent in the month to January 2018, with increases in all five subgroups. After seasonal adjustment, food prices fell 0.6 percent.

Grocery food was the highest upwards contributor, rising 1.4 percent, led by higher prices for bread (up 4.0 percent) and chocolate (up 11 percent). These rises were influenced by items coming off December specials.

Meat, poultry, and fish prices rose 2.4 percent in January, to reach their highest level since January 2016. Beef prices were at their second-highest level since the series began. The price for 1kg of beef mince was $14.32 in January 2018, compared with $13.47 in December 2017.

Video summary of January 2018 food prices

View our Food price index: January 2018 video

Ends

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