Meat pushes food prices to fifth consecutive rise

Meat, poultry, and fish prices were up 1.3 per cent in August. File photo.

Food prices rose 0.3 per cent in August 2021 compared with July 2021, mainly influenced by higher prices for meat, poultry, and fish, and restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food, Stats NZ says.

Though modest, August’s movement is the fifth consecutive monthly rise. After adjusting for seasonality, prices rose 0.2 in August 2021.

Meat, poultry, and fish prices were up 1.3 per cent in August, mainly influenced by higher prices for roasting pork (up 11 per cent), sausages (up 3.5 per cent), lamb chops (up 5.4 per cent), and porterhouse and sirloin steak (up 2.3 per cent).

This was partly offset by lower prices for chicken pieces (down 3.3 per cent).

Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices rose 0.4 percent, influenced by higher prices for some takeaway food.

“Covid-19 restrictions had a minimal effect on price collection in August,” says consumer prices manager Katrina Dewbery.

“Monthly field price collection, which includes most restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food, was completed under alert level 1, and supermarket scanner data, along with weekly fruit and vegetable prices collection, provides us with good coverage of all other items.”

Tomato and grape prices rise sharply

Fruit and vegetable prices also increased in August 2021, up 0.4 per cent, largely due to higher prices for tomatoes (up 16 per cent) and grapes (up 32 per cent).

Fruit and vegetable prices fell 0.2 per cent after adjusting for seasonal effects.

“The weighted average price of both tomatoes and grapes rose sharply to $15.79 and $11.52 per kilogram, respectively,” says Dewbery.

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