In the year to December 2015, food prices decreased 1.3 per cent, influenced by lower prices for grocery foods, Statistics New Zealand said this week. This is the largest annual fall since July 2012.
Grocery food prices decreased 3.0 per cent over the year, led by lower prices for some dairy products, and for breads and cereals. Fresh milk prices were down 14 per cent compared with the same period last year.
Meat, poultry, and fish prices decreased 3.8 per cent over the year, led by lower prices for chicken. Amazingly, chicken prices are now at their lowest level since January 2008. “Chicken prices have fallen during the year, with the price for a kilo of chicken breast averaging $14.62 in December, compared with $16.60 a year ago,” says consumer prices manager Matt Haigh.
Fruit and vegetable prices increased 2.4 per cent, with higher prices for avocados and bananas.
In December food prices fell 0.8 per cent, influenced by lower prices for meat, poultry, and fish; and non-alcoholic beverages. Seasonally adjusted food prices fell 0.5 per cent.
Meat, poultry, and fish prices fell 2.7 per cent in the month, reflecting lower prices for chicken (down an amazing 6.2 per cent). Non-alcoholic beverage prices were down 3.4 per cent, influenced by lower prices for energy drinks, soft drinks, and coffee.
“Prices rose for apples, avocados, and bananas in December,” Mr Haigh said. “Fruit prices were up 5.1 per cent, although this rise was only 1.5 per cent after adjusting for seasonal effects.”