Butter prices rise to record high

A rise in dairy prices has seen the cost of butter rise to its highest level ever.

Butter is now $5.67 for the cheapest available 500g block, according to Stats NZ - climbing beyond the previous record high set in September 2017, when it was $5.55.

A year ago, the price of the cheapest 500g block was $3.50 - that's a 62 percent lift in prices in the last 12 months alone.

The price of milk and cheese has risen too, though not at all to the same degree - a rise of 7.5 and 12 percent respectively.

Butter prices rise to record high
Photo credit: Stats NZ

"Dairy products are very widely used inputs in a number of food items," consumers price index manager at Stats NZ Matthew Haigh said.

"The effects of price rises flow on to products such as takeaway biscuits, buns, cakes and coffee, and eating out for lunch and dinner - all of which saw increases in the year to October 2017."

And it's bad news for the fruit and vegetable industry too, with prices likely to be up on this time last year thanks to bad weather in recent months.

"Kumara, pumpkin, and avocados have seen the largest increases since October last year," Mr Haigh explained.

Despite that, fruit and vegetable prices are likely to drop substantially as summer approaches - and that has been seen already, with monthly food prices down 6.8 percent since September.

Tomato, lettuce, cucumber, and capsicum prices have seen the biggest drop in the last month, Stats NZ says.

Food prices are down 1.1 percent overall in the month since the September result came out.


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