Courgette prices fall back to earth

Courgette prices fall back to earth

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Courgette prices were down 58 percent in September 2020 as the growing season resumed and more local produce arrived back on the shelves, Stats NZ said today.


Courgettes dropped to a weighted average price of $12.36 per kilo in the month, after reaching an all-time high of $29.60 in July during a trade ban from Queensland due to a crop virus. See Vegetable prices continue to grow for more information.


“The increase in domestic supply has filled the gap left by a shortage of imported courgettes during the winter,” consumer prices manager Nicola Growden said.


“Courgette prices dropped sharply this month and are about $6 a kilo cheaper than the same time last year.


“Courgettes are typically at their cheapest in mid-summer (January and February) at around $5 to $6 a kilo.”


Fruit and vegetable prices fell 8 percent in September 2020 as many crops came back in season, with lower prices for:
 

  • lettuce, down 24 percent
  • capsicum, down 34 percent
  • cucumber, down 28 percent.
     
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Overall food prices were down 1 percent in September 2020, despite a 0.8 percent rise for meat, poultry, and fish prices.


Beef porterhouse/sirloin steak was up 5 percent in September to a new peak, with a weighted average price of $32.92 per kilo. In 2006, sirloin was about $20 per kilo, generally rising since then to go up 64 percent over 14 years, while general inflation has risen about 28 percent in the same period.


Also influencing the higher meat prices were ham, sliced or shaved (up 8.4 percent in September), chicken pieces (up 2.3 percent), and bacon (up 1.4 percent).


Tomato prices up in the year


Tomato prices increased 44 percent in the year to a weighted average price of $13.26 per kilo in September.


Tomato prices have risen in recent months, as uncertainty after the COVID-19 lockdown in April led to fewer tomatoes being planted. Demand was expected to be down because non-essential services like cafes and restaurants were closed.


“We are now seeing a shortage, three or four months after plantings were reduced, which has led to higher than normal prices.”


“The current price of a kilogram of tomatoes is $3.98 more expensive than the previous five-year average for the September months,” Mrs Growden said.

“Tomatoes are typically cheapest in mid-summer at less than $4 a kilo.”


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Food prices in the decade

Food prices have increased 16 percent in the decade ended September 2020, as prices increased for each subgroup.

These increases included:

  • fruit and vegetables, up 22 percent
  • meat, poultry, and fish, up 16 percent
  • grocery foods, up 5.8 percent
  • non-alcoholic beverages, up 15 percent
  • restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food, up 28 percent.

The increase in food prices during the decade is almost the same as the increase in overall consumers prices, up 17 percent. Wages, as measured by the labour cost index, rose about 20 percent in the past decade.


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