Food prices saw an increase in March buoyed by rising vegetable prices. After adjusting for seasonal effects, food prices rose 0.8 per cent.
Vegetable prices rose 3.8 per cent, led by higher prices for tomatoes, lettuce, and cauliflower.
“Cauliflower prices rose 66 per cent to reach their highest level since our series began in 1994,” said consumer prices manager Matt Haigh.
“The average price of a 1.5kg head of cauliflower was $8.24. A combination of dry weather and high demand has pushed up prices for a range of vegetables.”
Prices for tomatoes and lettuce were both 14 per cent higher compared to the same period last year. Cauliflower prices have increased 47 per cent.
Non-alcoholic beverage prices rose 1.9 per cent, reflecting less discounting on energy drinks and soft drinks. Grocery food prices rose 0.3 per cent, influenced by confectionery (up 8.7 per cent), snacks (up 5.3 per cent), and bread (up 1.6 per cent).
Meat, poultry, and fish prices decreased 0.2 per cent, with lower prices for lamb, down 5.0 per cent. Beef prices continued to increase from last month, up 0.7 per cent in March to a record high. The average price of one kilogram of porterhouse steak was $30.37. On a yearly basis, food prices dipped.
Fruit and vegetable prices increased in March this year, up 3.6 per cent from the same period last year. Meat, poultry and fish prices fell 0.6 per cent. Grocery food prices also decreased in March this year, down 2.7 per cent compared to last year. Non-alcoholic beverage prices rose 1.0 per cent, while restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices rose 1.9 per cent.