Decrease in April food prices

markets, fruit, food, grocerIn April 2015, food prices fell 0.3 per cent,  according to Statistics New Zealand, following a 0.1 per cent rise in March and 0.7 per cent fall in February.

“More discounting on items such as biscuits, snack foods and sauces contributed to lower grocery prices. This was countered by higher prices for tomatoes, beef, and chicken,” prices manager Chris Pike said.

Grocery food prices fell 0.9 per cent, influenced by lower prices for cakes and biscuits, snack foods and sauces. The price of cakes and biscuits was influenced by more discounting on biscuits.

In April, fruit and vegetable prices fell 1.2 per cent. Fruit prices, down 2.9 per cent, were influenced by seasonally lower prices for kiwifruit. Prices for apples also fell, with a continued supply of new season varieties. These price falls were partly offset by seasonally higher prices for mandarins.

Vegetable prices (up 0.1 per cent) were influenced by seasonally higher prices for tomatoes, partly offset by lower prices for carrots and cabbage. The average price of tomatoes in April 2015 was $4.81 per kilo, up from $3.49 per kilo in March 2015. This compares with an average price of $3.98 in April 2014.

In April, a 0.4 per cent rise in meat, poultry, and fish prices was influenced by higher prices for beef, up 4.5 per cent, which are now at their highest level. Prices for chicken (up 1.8 per cent) also rose. These price rises were partly offset by lower prices for processed meat(down 2.1 per cent.

Higher prices were also recorded for restaurant meals and ready to eat food, up 0.2 per cent, and nonalcoholic beverages, up 0.3 per cent, influenced by less discounting of packaged coffee.

In the year to April 2015, food prices increased one per cent, following a 1.9 per cent increase in the year to March 2015.

Fruit and vegetable prices increased 5.3 per cent, reflecting higher prices for lettuce, potatoes, bananas, strawberries, and tomatoes. Prices for avocados, cucumber, and mushrooms decreased in the year.

Restaurant meals and ready to eat food prices increased 1.6 per cent.

Meat, poultry, and fish prices increased two per cent, reflecting higher prices for beef, up 9.4 per cent, and chicken, up 2.3 per cent.

Grocery food prices decreased 1.5 per cent in the year to April, influenced by lower prices for bread, cheese, snack foods, and butter. These price decreases were partly offset by higher prices for chocolate and fresh milk.

The food price index measures the rate of price change of food and food services purchased by households. Statistics NZ visits shops across New Zealand to collect prices for the FPI and check package sizes.

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