But­ter blamed for surge in food prices

Kapiti Observer - - OUT & ABOUT - RACHEL CLAY­TON

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.

123RF

But­ter has helped drive up food prices.

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