NZ food prices rise 0.2% in July as kumara spikes
By Hannah Lynch
Aug. 13 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand food prices rose last month, led by a spike in the price of kumara, while prices fell for the year, led by cheaper vegetables, dairy and lamb products.
The food price index rose 0.2 percent, in its third monthly increase this year, Statistics New Zealand said. Prices fell 1.8 percent compared to the same period a year earlier.
July's rise was led by a 4.4 percent hike in fruit and vegetables. That was led by an 84 percent increase in kumara prices to their highest level since February 2008, influenced by low prices in July 2011 and poor weather conditions for both planting and harvesting affecting this year's crop.
Non-alcoholic beverages also rose 0.1 percent, while restaurant meals and ready-to-go meals fell 0.1 percent along with meat, poultry and fish prices down 0.2 percent and grocery food prices down 0.6 percent.
July's annual decline was led by a 6.6 percent decrease in fruit and vegetables, a 1.7 percent drop in grocery prices and a 1.6 percent decline in meat, fish and poultry products. Non-alcoholic drinks slipped 2.1 percent.
Restaurant meals and ready-to-go foods bucked the trend, rising 1.4 percent in the past year.