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Vegetable prices highest in four years

Stats NZ has revealed vegetable prices rose 15 percent in the month of June 2021, pushing overall food prices up 1.4 percent.

The significant rise was mainly influenced by rising prices for tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, capsicum and broccoli.

Consumer Prices Manager, Matthew Stansfield, says it is typical to see price rises for many vegetables during winter due to seasonal effects.

“However, we are seeing larger rises than usual for this time of the year and for a greater number of vegetables.”

The only fresh vegetable prices to fall in June were kumara, pumpkin, and mushrooms.

Capsicum prices rose 27 percent to a weighted average price of $24.16 per kilogram, an all-time high.

“Capsicum prices follow a very seasonal trend, generally reaching their peak during July or August as more produce is imported during winter,” says Stansfield.

Tomato and cucumber prices continued to rise in June, both up 52 percent to a weighted average price of $11.19 and $16.79 per kilogram, respectively.

Slightly offsetting the 1.4 percent rise in food prices, in order of contributions are:

  • kiwifruit, down 24 percent
  • instant coffee, down 4.9 percent
  • pork leg, down 10 percent
  • kumara, down 10 percent.
Annual food prices increase 2.8 percent

Food prices increased 2.8 percent in the year ended June 2021. This was mainly influenced by higher fruit and vegetable prices (increasing 9.6 percent) and restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food (increasing 4.4 percent).

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