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New Zealand's vegetable prices shoot up: statistics
Last Updated: 2018-08-15 09:26 | Xinhua
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Higher prices for vegetables led New Zealand's food price inflation to 0.7 percent in July 2018, the country's statistics department Stats NZ said on Monday.

Vegetable prices rose 9.2 percent in the month, with higher prices for fresh lettuce, tomatoes, and broccoli making the largest contributions. After adjusting for seasonal effects, vegetable prices rose 3.8 percent, Stats NZ said.

"Lettuce prices are now at their highest since the series began, and 2.5 percent higher than their previous peak in May 2017," consumer prices manager Geraldine Duoba said in a statement.

"July was particularly cold and wet in the North Island where a lot of our lettuce is grown," Duoba said.

A 7.9-percent fall in fruit prices partly offset the rise in vegetable prices. Seasonally cheaper avocados, with price down by 36 percent, had the largest impact, followed by nectarines and strawberries. After adjusting for seasonal effects, fruit prices fell 2.2 percent, she said.

Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices increased 3.2 percent in the year to July 2018, the highest annual increase since September 2011. All items priced in this category increased in price during the year, statistics show.

Large seasonal changes in fruit and vegetable prices tend to lead monthly food price movements, Duoba said, adding that price increases for restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food have been consistent, and led annual food price inflation this year.

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