Agribusiness

Tomatoes and strawberries cheaper

tomatoes stock image

Tomatoes and strawberries were 18 percent and 5 percent cheaper, respectively, in November 2018 than they were a year ago, Stats NZ said.

Tomatoes cost an average of $3.56 a kilo in November 2018, compared with $4.32 a kilo in November 2017. Poor weather in 2017 affected the supply and price of many crops.

Food prices fell 0.6 percent in November 2018 compared with October 2018, mainly driven by seasonal falls in vegetable prices.

“Now is a really good time to buy tomatoes, as well as broccoli and lettuce,” consumer prices manager Geraldine Duoba said. “Prices for these vegetables tend to stay low as we head into summer.”

Tomato prices fell nearly 50 percent in November 2018, about normal for this time of year.

Strawberry prices fell 33 percent between October 2018 and November 2018, the biggest monthly fall in four years. In November 2018 strawberry prices were an average of $15.68 a kilo, or just under $4 for a standard 250g punnet.

Banana prices rose 17 percent over the month due to a delayed shipment, which reduced supply and pushed prices up.

“Bananas are a consistently cheap, versatile fruit that’s available all year round,” Ms Duoba said. “This makes them New Zealand’s most popular fruit, making up about 17 percent of all spending on fruit.”

The average price of bananas was $3.34 a kilo in November 2018, still lower than their record high price of $3.51 a kilo in August 2016, when there was also a banana shortage.

Meat prices eased slightly in November 2018 after large rises in September 2018 and October 2018. Poultry prices fell 3.7 percent, partly offset by rises in the price of beef and pork.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, food prices fell 0.2 percent in November 2018. Over the year, food prices increased 0.4 percent.

Source: Stats NZ

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