Avocados are at their cheapest average price since February 2017, with tomato, lettuce, and cucumber prices also falling, says Stats NZ today.
These falls contributed to a 4.7 per cent drop in fruit and vegetable prices in October.
“Avocado prices dropped to a weighted average price of just $7.54 per kilogram in October. This is down from $8.95 in September and the record high of $28.67 in May this year,” says acting consumer prices manager Fiona Smillie.
Salad ingredients were the main contributors to the fall in fruit and vegetable prices between September and October.
• Tomato prices fell 25 per cent to a weighted average price of $6.96 per kilogram.
• Lettuce prices fell 27 per cent to a weighted average price of $3.93 per kilogram.
• Cucumber prices fell 31 per cent to a weighted average price of $6.51 per kilogram.
Price falls for tomatoes, lettuces, and cucumbers are typical in October.
These falls were partly offset by strawberries (up 14 per cent) and potatoes (up 8.0 per cent).
“We generally see prices for strawberries and potatoes increase towards the end of the year as new season produce hits the shelves,” says Fiona.
Lower fruit and vegetable prices contributed to a 0.3 per cent drop in overall food prices in October.
Annual food prices up in year to October
Food prices increased 2.5 per cent in the year ended October, influenced mainly by restaurant meals and ready-to-eat foods (up 3.4 per cent) and grocery food (up 2.1 per cent).
Meat, poultry, and fish prices also increased annually, up 4.2 per cent.
“Bacon prices continued to increase following the outbreak of African swine fever in China, up 24 percent in the year ending October, to a weighted average price of $13.37 per 700 grams."
About 80–90 per cent of the bacon consumed in New Zealand is imported from overseas.
Ham prices also increased, up 22 per cent for the year ended October, to a weighted average price of $14.28 per kilogram.
“Not all meat, poultry, and fish prices have seen substantial increases this year. Chicken breast decreased 2.2 percent, to a weighted average price of $12.51 per kilogram."
Fruit and vegetables were the only group to decrease over the year, down 0.2 per cent.