Butter blamed for surge in food prices
High butter prices helped push up the cost of food in September.
The average price of food rose 3 per cent compared to September last year, according to Statistics NZ.
Butter prices have been steadily rising, and continued to increase last month.
The price of the cheapest available 500g block of butter was $5.55, up from $3.48 last year. A kilo of tasty cheese cost $8.95, up 3.5 per cent since August.
‘‘For every $100 spent on food, Kiwis spent about $10 on these dairy items,’’ said Statistics New Zealand consumers price manager Matthew Haigh.
Federated Farmers dairy group chairman Chris Lewis has said poor weather had had an impact on production during the early part of the season.
‘‘It’s been a challenge with rain, rain and more rain. I don’t know any farmers who aren’t tracking below their usual production.’’
Kumara and potatoes may also become a luxury with wet weather helping push up vege prices by 6.5 per cent.
The average price for a kilo of potatoes was $2.13 in September, up from $1.69 a year earlier. After seasonal adjustment, fruit and vege prices rose 0.7 per cent and 0.3 per cent, respectively, compared to August.
‘‘Prices for cucumber, lettuce, and capsicum led the drop in vegetable prices in September,’’ Haigh said.
‘‘The prices for items found
‘‘It’s been a challenge with rain, rain and more rain. ’’
in salads typically begin to fall in September months as warmer weather arrives – although the falls for September 2017 have not been as large as in previous years.’’
Foodstuffs has confirmed it is ‘‘having challenges meeting demand’’ for potato chips, after the wet weather dealt a blow to crops.
However, a statement from the company said the shortage would likely last only a few weeks.
‘‘It is anticipated new season crops will be harvested in the next few weeks so supply is likely to settle down then.’’
The comments come after notices appeared in some Pak’nSave supermarkets, warning customers of ‘‘trouble stocking potato chips’’ due to a nationwide potato shortage.
Butter has helped drive up food prices.