Prices for apples, strawberries, kiwifruit and mandarins were up sharply in January, but milk, cheese and eggs were all cheaper, with overall food prices rising 1.2 per cent in the month.
For the year, though, food prices were up 0.9 per cent.
Statistics New Zealand figures just out show overall fruit prices up 7.4 per cent in January, in a typical seasonal rise. Vegetables were up a more modest 1.8 per cent.
"Seasonally higher prices for fruit and vegetables, and less discounting on chocolate, beef, and lamb were partly countered by lower prices for milk, cheese, and eggs," Statistics NZ prices manager Chris Pike said.
Groceries were up 0.9 per cent in January, with a rise in chocolate prices. Prices for milk, cheese, and eggs were down 1.3 per cent.
However, for the past year to January grocery prices were up in part because of higher prices for dairy products such as fresh milk (up 8.8 per cent in the year), butter (up 20 per cent), and cheese (up 4.4 per cent), reflecting high world market prices.
The only food subgroup to show a price fall in the year to January was fruit and vegetables (down 1.3 per cent).
That reflected lower prices for pumpkin, grapes, avocados, and pears, Statistics NZ said.
- Fairfax Media