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Cheaper meat and veggies push food prices down to late 2009 levels in April

Thursday 13th May 2010

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Cheaper meat and vegetables pushed down food prices in April to levels not seen since late 2009. 

Food prices fell 0.5% last month from March, according to Statistics New Zealand’s Food Price Index, with a 2.6% decline in meat, poultry and fish prices, and a 1.7% fall in fruit and vegetable prices.

The biggest contributors were cheaper chicken, down 4.7%, a 36% drop in kiwifruit prices, and a decline of 9.5% for coffee. The biggest increases in prices were a 1.9% gain in soft drinks, snack foods up 4.1% and strawberries recording a gain of 22%. Grocery foods was the only sub-group to rise in the latest period, gaining 0.7% in April.  

The department said kiwifruit prices were traditionally lower in April when the new season’s crop hits the market, though chick and coffee were both discounted during the month.  

Food prices are 0.4% higher than they were in April 2009, according to the government data, led by a 2.3% annual gain in grocery prices, 1.9% for restaurant meals and 1.7% for non-alcoholic beverages. Fruit and vegetables fell 5% over the past year, and meat, poultry and fish dropped 2.2%. Though prices are marginally up over the past year, they are still 8.1% above where they were in 2008.  

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