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Tomato prices jump 52 percent in a month

Te Whanganui-a-Tara – The largest rise for vegetable prices in more than over four years pushed food prices up 1.4 percent last month. Tomato prices are through the roof.

Vegetable prices rose 15 percent in June, mainly influenced by rising prices for tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, capsicum, and broccoli. 

After adjusting for seasonal effects, vegetable prices were up 8.5 percent., Stats NZ says.

The price of vegetables soars in winter due to seasonal effects, but consumers and supermarkets are seeing larger rises than usual and for a greater number of vegetables.

The only fresh vegetable prices to fall in June were kumara, pumpkin, and mushrooms.

Capsicums leaped 27 percent to a weighted average price of $24.16 per kilogram, an all-time high.

Tomato and cucumber prices continued to rise in June, both up 52 percent to a weighted average price of $11.19 and $16.79 per kilogram, respectively.

Both also had strong rises in April 2021. Tomato growers are facing a lot of uncertainty regarding exports, influencing their plans for replanting tomato crops.

Slightly offsetting the 1.4 percent rise in food prices were kiwifruit, down 24 percent; instant coffee, down 4.9 percent; pork leg, down 10 percent; and kumara, down 10 percent.

Annual food prices increased 2.8 percent to the year ended June 2021. This was mainly influenced by higher fruit and vegetable prices (increasing 9.6 percent) and restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food (increasing 4.4 percent).

Meat, poultry, and fish prices rose 1.0 percent and non-alcoholic drinks prices fell 0.7 percent.

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