Fruit and vege prices drop

Latest figures show fruit and vegetables prices dropped in December, continuing the pattern of cheaper prices in 2018.

Stats NZ said fruit prices were 3.8 percent lower in December 2018 than in December 2017, while vegetable prices were 7.5 percent lower.

Consumer prices manager Geraldine Duoba said fruit and vegetable and prices overall were cheaper in 2018.

"Bad weather in 2017 reduced the supply of many vegetables, pushing up their prices," she said.

"Growing conditions were mostly more favourable during 2018,  boosting supply and lowering prices," said Ms Duoba.

Prices of kumara and pumpkins reached record highs in late 2017. 

These vegetables were 39 and 51 percent cheaper,  respectively, in December 2018 compared with December 2017.

Lettuces were 21 percent cheaper in December 2018 than in December 2017. 

However, in July 2018 they reached a record price of $5.42 per 500g head before falling to $1.04 per head in December.

After record prices in May, Avocado prices had dropped by December.
After record prices in May, Avocado prices had dropped by December. Photo credit: Getty

A smaller than usual avocado harvest resulted in record prices in May 2018, when they reached an average price of $5.06 per 200g avocado. By December, avocado prices had fallen to an average $1.72 per avocado, 26 percent lower than the December 2017 average price of $2.31.

Kiwifruit prices were 24 percent lower in December 2018 compared with December 2017. 

Overseas merchandise trade data for June and September showed export values and volumes were higher than 2017. 

Favourable weather patterns in 2018 were also likely to have affected kiwifruit supply, keeping domestic prices down. 

Meanwhile egg prices reached a record high in December.

The cost of a dozen eggs, by contrast, reached a record $4.25 in December 2018, with prices up 10 percent on December 2017.

"Eggs are a staple food for many households," Ms Duoba said.

"Egg industry reports suggest the average New Zealander eats more than 200 eggs a year, with retail sales worth more than $280 million."

Overall food prices increased 1.0 percent in the December 2018 year, and fell 0.2 percent in the December 2018 month.

Newshub.

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