Tuesday 14th June 2011
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Food prices rose 0.5% in May, with the fruit and vegetable subgroup rising for the first time since January, while porterhouse and sirloin steak was close to an all time high.
Coffee prices rose 5% in the month, and are up 15.9% over the year, to their highest ever recorded level.
For the year to May food prices were up 7.4% - including a 2.2% lift in October due to an increase in GST - the largest annual rise since the year to July 2009. Lettuce cost 130.2% more than a year ago, influenced by the timing of the usual winter price rise, and fresh milk was up 9.3%.
Porterhouse and sirloin beef steak rose 32.6% over the year, but that rise was influenced by discounting in May 2010, Statistics New Zealand (SNZ) said today.
Fruit prices were down 5.7% in May, and while they usually fall in May months, the decline last month was the biggest May monthly fall since 2008. Kiwifruit prices were down 61% and mandarins fell 41%.
Vegetable prices which often rise in May months were up 6.5% last month. Lettuce was up 45.6%, tomatoes gained 16.9%, and cucumber added 74.7%.
The meat, poultry, and fish subgroup rose 1.2% in May from April, with fresh chicken up 4.3%, and bacon up 5.7% to its highest level since February 2010. Porterhouse and sirloin beef steak rose 3.6% to be just 2.1% below the high recorded in March.
Sausage prices fell 4% in May, influenced by increased discounting, SNZ said.
For the year to May the meat, poultry and fish subgroup rose 9.9%, with beef up 16.5 percent, poultry up 11.3%, and lamb up 20.7%.
Fruit and vegetable prices were up 12.8% over the year, including a 28.9% gain in potato prices.
Other price rises in May included fruit juice up 4.1%, tea up 7%, and potato crisps up 5.8%, although margarine prices fell 6%.
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