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Food prices rise in July

Thursday 12th August 2010

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Surging dairy prices have filtered into the local market with a 5.9% increase in the price of fresh milk combining with high prices for fruit and vegetables to take the price of food higher last month.  

The Food Price Index rose 1.6% in July following a 1.3% increase a month earlier, according to Statistics New Zealand. Fresh produce led prices higher, rising 8.7%, with out-of-season lettuce, broccoli and tomatoes reporting the biggest jumps.

Grocery prices rose 1.2% in July after two monthly declines, with rising milk prices pushing them higher. Yoghurt was a driver, with a 7% increase.

Fresh milk prices are now at their peak and have climbed 10.8% in the year through July, mirroring the gains in the price of whole milk powder Fonterra's online trading platform, which hit a trough in July last year.

Butter prices are up 27.2% on the year, and have dropped 5.3% from a peak in May. Cheddar cheese prices rose 11.8% over the 12-month period, but are 10.7% below their peak in 2008.

Meat, poultry and fish prices edged up 0.5% last month, while restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food inched up 0.3%. Non-alcoholic beverages fell 1.1% in July.

On an annual basis, food prices fell 1% in the year to July 31, with produce falling 4.3%.

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