Price of courgettes hits record high

Courgettes fetched a record price of $21.42 a kilo.
Courgettes fetched a record price of $21.42 a kilo. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

A ban on some fresh vegetables from Queensland has seen the price of courgettes rise 74 percent.

Stats NZ says food prices rose 0.5 percent in June, with tomatoes and courgettes more expensive than usual at this time of the year.

Courgettes fetched a record price of $21.42 a kilo.

"New Zealand has a limited supply of courgettes around this time of year as the local growing season comes to an end, so we would typically see courgette imports from Australia fill the gap," consumer prices manager Sarah Johnson said.

But imports have been affected by the cucumber green mottle mosaic virus since the end of last year and it is unclear when the import ban will be lifted.

"Courgette prices tend to peak in September, but the shortage of supply has pushed prices up to record-high levels this month, in the absence of supply from Queensland," Johnson said.

"We have seen courgette prices briefly top $20 per kilo when imports from Australia were suspended in 2018 for the same virus.

"Foodies may need to look for cheaper substitutes in their recipes like eggplant, pumpkin, or even cabbage."

Food prices for the year to June rose 4.1 percent on the year before, with fruits and vegetable prices up 10 percent.