Vegetable prices soar after wet year

Vegetable prices soar after wet year
Photo credit: Getty / file

It's going to be an expensive Christmas for anyone planning to put on a traditional feed, with butter, kūmara and pumpkin prices skyrocketing to a record high.

The price of potato has also increased but to a lesser level, jumping up 19 percent in the last year, according to Stats NZ.

But it's a tiny increase compared to other veges. Kūmara has increased 83 percent this year, meaning Kiwis are now paying $8.99 a kilo. Meanwhile pumpkin will set you back $5.78 a kilo, up 176 percent.

And the garnish of all garnishes, key to slathering those kūmara and potatoes, butter: it's increased to $5.74 for a block this November. This time last year, it cost $3.88.

Stats NZ's senior pricing manager Jason Attewell said the impact is being felt globally, with butter reaching record prices across the world.

"With the dry start to our summer it's unclear how the price of butter will change in the near future," he said.

Summer's dry start is in contrast to a rather wet year, which is what bumped up the kūmara and pumpkin prices.

"Poor growing conditions due to the wet weather early this year had a huge impact on the supply of pumpkin and kumara," said Stats NZ's Matthew Haigh, cosumer prices manager.

Pumpkin and kūmara are now at its priciest since records began in 1993.

However while the Christmas dinner may be doomed, the traditional Kiwi summer snack is still sustainable. The price of strawberries has dropped 22 percent as summer approaches.