But­ter a lux­ury as food prices rise 3pc

Waikato Times - - Business - RACHEL CLAY­TON

High but­ter prices helped push up the cost of food in Septem­ber.

The av­er­age price of food rose 3 per cent com­pared with Septem­ber last year, ac­cord­ing to Sta­tis­tics New Zealand.

But­ter prices have been steadily ris­ing, and con­tin­ued to in­crease last month.

The price of the cheap­est avail­able 500-gram block of but­ter was $5.55, up from $3.48 last year.

A kilo­gram 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,’’ Sta­tis­tics NZ con­sumer prices man­ager Matthew Haigh said.

Fed­er­ated Farmers dairy group chair­man Chris Lewis has said poor weather had an im­pact on dairy pro­duc­tion dur­ing the early part of the sea­son.

‘‘It’s been a chal­lenge with rain, rain and more rain,’’ he said.

‘‘I don’t know any farmers who aren’t track­ing be­low their usual pro­duc­tion.’’

Ku­mara and pota­toes could also be­come a lux­ury, with wet weather help­ing to push up veg­etable 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 with Au­gust.

‘‘Prices for cu­cum­ber, let­tuce, and cap­sicum led the drop in veg­etable prices in Septem­ber,’’ Haigh said.

‘‘The prices for items found 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.’’

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