Tamaki Makaurau – Tomatoes have more than doubled in price in the last month which is the biggest monthly price rise in over 10 years, Stats NZ says.
In April they were $6.34 per kg, compared to $2.98 a kg in March. Rising prices for tomatoes and cucumbers were the main contributors to a 1.1 percent rise in food prices last month.
Fruit and vegetable prices rose 4.8 percent in April. Tomato prices have been particularly low for the last three months, which is hardly surprising in summer.
But Tomatoes NZ says there was an oversupply in the domestic market as growers struggled to get their tomatoes exported due to a shortage of freight and a rising cost of shipping because of covid.
Tomato growers are facing a lot of uncertainty regarding exports, influencing their plan for replanting tomato crops.
In August 2020, tomatoes reached a record high price of $13.65 per kilo when there was a shortage because of covid.
Meanwhile, cucumber prices rose 50 percent last month, also contributing to the rise in food prices. The cucumber price in April was $12.41 per kilo compared with $8.25 a kg in March.
The rising tomato and cucumber prices were partly offset by lower value for kiwifruit, down 28 percent.
The minimum wage increase reflected in higher prices for restaurant meals and takeaway food, which showed a minor rise.
The last time prices for restaurant meals and takeaway food rose by as much as following the increase in GST to 15 percent in 2010.
Annual prices for instant and ground coffee decreased 8.7 percent in April while annual potato prices decreased 9.2 percent.
Fruit and vegetable prices rose 4.8 percent while meat, poultry, and fish prices rose a tiny bit. Grocery food prices rose one percent, the same as non-alcoholic beverages.