Thursday 13 October 2016 11:55 AM
NZ food prices decline in September on slide in fruit, vege and meat prices
By Tina Morrison
Oct. 13 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand food prices declined in September, impacted by cheaper bananas, lamb and chicken.
Food prices fell a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent in September following a 1.3 percent jump in August, Statistics New Zealand said. On an unadjusted basis, food prices slid 0.9 percent in the month.
Fruit and vegetable prices fell 5.1 percent in September after jumping 5.8 percent in August. Vegetable prices dropped 5.5 percent with seasonally lower prices for tomatoes, capsicum and cucumber. Fruit prices declined 4.4 percent as bananas slid 13 percent to $3.05/kg after spiking 22 percent in August to a record high of $3.51/kg due to a supply shortage.
Meat, poultry and fish prices fell 0.9 percent. Mutton, lamb and hogget prices slid 4.5 percent with the price of lamb chops down 6.9 percent to $13.42/kg and chicken breasts declining 4.2 percent to $13.52/kg, the lowest level since October 2007.
“The generally falling prices for chicken in recent months are the result of expanded investment in farming operations by the New Zealand poultry industry," Poultry Industry Association executive director Michael Brooks said. "With supply decisions being made one to two years ahead, temporary periods of under- or over-supply can occur and affect prices accordingly.”
On an annual basis, food prices advanced 0.1 percent in the year through September.
The food price index accounts for about 19 percent of the consumers price index, which is the Reserve Bank's mandated inflation target when setting interest rates. Consumer prices rose an annual 0.4 percent in the June quarter, the seventh quarter below the Reserve Bank's 1-to-3 percent target band. Statistics NZ is scheduled to publish September quarter consumer prices next Tuesday.