11 Feb 2010

Food prices rising again

7:07 pm on 11 February 2010

Food prices are rising again, ending five months of decline.

New figures from Statistics New Zealand show prices rose by 2.1% in January, driven by a 4.8% increase in the cost of fruit and vegetables.

The greatest rise in that category was for kiwifruit, which rose by 38.3%.

Milk was up more than 5%, while meat rose 3.3% in January.

Horticulture New Zealand says it is usual for some fruit prices to increase temporarily as seasonal supplies begin to dry up.

However, spokesperson Leigh Catley says fruit and vegetable prices dropped 1% in the year to January, meaning growers are struggling to earn the profits they need to absorb increased production costs.

Statistics New Zealand says prices are now 2.2% higher than a year ago and 12% higher than they were two years ago.