Butter a luxury as food prices rise 3pc
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.’’