NEW ZEALAND: Banana prices hit 30-year high

Bananas are the most expensive they have been in more than 30 years.


The latest food price index from Statistics New Zealand showed bananas at a record high of $3.05 per kg.


That’s the highest price recorded since 1981, which is as far back as records are available, said prices manager Chris Pike.


Overall food and vegetable prices were down 3.1 per cent in March from the previous month, largely due to cheaper apples and potatoes.


Prices for new season apples were down 48 per cent on the peak price in January.


Beverages were also cheaper in March, influenced by discounts on packaged coffee and tea.


Mr Pike said grocery food prices were up 1.2 per cent for the month, the highest monthly rise since January 2013.


Overall food prices were up 0.1 per cent, following a 0.7 per cent fall in February and a 1.3 per cent rise in January.


In the year to March, food prices rose 1.9 per cent, the largest annual increase since December 2011.


Lettuce, potatoes, bananas, strawberries, carrots, and dried apricots were more expensive than a year ago, while tomatoes, avocados, and cucumber were cheaper.


Cakes and biscuits, fresh milk and yoghurt were all more expensive, while bread, butter and cheese prices fell.


The price of meat, poultry, and fish rose 2.5 percent in the year to March, reflecting higher prices for beef.


The food price index measures the rate of price change of food and food services purchased by households.


Statistics New Zealand visits shops across New Zealand to collect prices for the FPI and check package sizes.


Source: Otago Daily Times

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