Timaru had the highest increase in food prices nationwide in the year to April, as well as during that month.
The Food Price Index (FPI) released by Statistics New Zealand shows that in the year to April, food prices increased 1.5 per cent nationwide, and rose 0.6 per cent in April.
In Timaru, however, the rises were significantly greater.
"For April, the increase in Timaru was higher than average and the largest across the 15 regions. Food prices rose 2 per cent in the month and over the year the increase was 3.1 per cent, compared with a 1.5 per cent annualincreasenationwide," Statistics' prices manager Chris Pike said.
"Hamilton was the next highest in regards to annual increase. Prices rose by 2.7 per cent and monthly [in April] by 1.4 per cent," Pike said.
Christchurch prices rose by 0.5 per cent in April and by 2.1 per cent over the year.
Nationwide, restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food had the largest impact, with ready-to-eat food prices up 2.4 per cent and restaurant meals up 1.5 per cent. Also nationally, meat, poultry and fish were up 2.6 per cent for the year, influenced by more expensive beef (up 2.6 per cent), lamb (up 9 per cent) and pork (up 9.1 per cent).
"In Timaru, meat, poultry and fish prices were relatively higher in comparison to the national annual average," Pike said.
"Timaru saw a relatively higher-than-average increase in prices of non-alcoholic beverages and a slight drop in the prices of fruit and vegetables, in comparison to the national average."
FPI tracks changes in food prices for 170 different items in 15 regions across the country.
Because of the volatility and availability of fruit and vegetables, their price changes are tracked weekly. Other items are tracked monthly.
- The Timaru Herald