Record banana prices have contributed to a rise in overall food prices in New Zealand over the month of August, according to Statistics New Zealand.
Banana prices over August spiked 22 per cent from July to NZ$3.51 per kg, eclipsing the previous peak of NZ$3.23 in March this year.
"Banana prices were at their highest since the series began in 1949, reflecting a supply shortage from Ecuador. Over the last three years, Ecuador has overtaken the Philippines as the main supplier of bananas to New Zealand," Statistics New Zealand’s consumer prices manager Matt Haigh said. "Kiwi households spend an average of NZ$88 a year on bananas, making them the most popular fruit."
Seasonally adjusted fruit prices rose 3.2 per cent from July, as the rise in banana prices was partly offset by lower prices for avocados (down 25 per cent).
Seasonally adjusted vegetable prices rose 2.1 per cent as winter price rises were higher than usual this month. Unadjusted vegetable prices rose 8.9 per cent, influenced by higher prices for tomatoes (up 41 per cent), lettuce (up 7.8 per cent), and cabbage (up 57 per cent). This was partly offset by lower prices for cucumber (down 26 per cent).
Overall food prices increased 0.5 percent in the year to August 2016.