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NZ food prices fall 1 percent in October as tomatoes lead slide in fruit and vegetables

Wednesday 13th November 2013

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New Zealand food prices fell in October from September as the price of tomatoes tumbled, leading a seasonal decline in fruit and vegetables.

Food prices declined 1 percent in October from the previous month to be up 0.8 percent from a year earlier, according to Statistics New Zealand.

Tomatoes fell to an average $7.11 a kilogram last month from $11.39/kg in September, contributing to an 8.8 percent decline in fruit and vegetables, the government statistician said. Grocery prices declined 0.3 percent, reflecting discounting of sauces, cakes and biscuits, it said.

Declining foods more than made up for a 2 percent increase in the prices of meat, poultry and fish. That was driven mainly by the price of lamb, which rose 15 percent to the highest since December 2011. Chicken rose 4.9 percent and beef was up 1.4 percent.

Non-alcoholic drinks declined 0.2 percent and restaurant and ready-to-eat food prices gained 0.2 percent.

The annual increase in food prices was driven by a 1.2 percent gain in grocery prices, especially fresh milk, up 7 percent, and yoghurt, which gained 8.1 percent. Meat, poultry and fish prices were up 2.3 percent on the year, non-alcoholic drinks rose 1.2 percent and restaurant and take-out meals rose 1.9 percent.

Fruit and vegetable prices fell 3.7 percent from a year earlier.

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