Tomato, lettuce, cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli prices rose sharply in March 2018, boosting vegetable prices 9.5 percent in the month after adjusting for typically seasonal changes, Stats NZ said.
“Vegetable crops have been affected by a run of storms in recent weeks – lower supply due to bad weather usually means higher prices,” consumer prices manager Matthew Haigh said.
“In February 2018, we saw rising prices for lettuce, broccoli, and cauliflower, due to a combination of humid weather and cyclone Gita. As expected, that wet weather has affected vegetable prices in March 2018 too.”
Tomatoes rose more than 60 percent in March 2018 to $4.65 a kilo. In March 2017, tomatoes were 83 cents cheaper at $3.82 a kilo.
Lettuce prices were up 20 percent in March 2018 to $2.94 per 500 gram head, while cauliflower rose 85 percent to $8.35 a kilo.
Cabbage prices rose by more than $1.00 a kilo in March 2018 to $3.18 a kilo (up 50 percent). Broccoli also increased more than $1.00 a kilo to $8.35 a kilo (up 20 per cent).
However, as usual for the time of year, apple prices fell – down 16 percent to $2.70 a kilo. Fruit prices rose 0.2 percent in March 2018.
Overall, food prices rose 1.0 percent in March 2018. This rise was mainly driven by the lift in vegetable prices, up 11 percent. Meat prices rose 1.2 percent in the month. There was no change in grocery and non-alcoholic beverage prices in March 2018 and little change in restaurant and takeaways prices (up 0.1 percent).
Source: Stats NZ