WELLINGTON, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- Butter prices rose 11 percent in August to a record high of 5.39 NZ dollars (3.93 U.S. dollars) a block, New Zealand's statistics department Stats NZ said on Wednesday.
The average price of 5.39 NZ dollars for a cheapest available 500g block was up 51 cents from July and up 62 percent from August 2016, Stats NZ said, adding that the annual butter price increase is the largest in percentage terms since 2010.
"We have seen butter prices rising lately due to New Zealand's export driven market," consumers price index manager Matthew Haigh said in a statement, adding that butter prices have experienced all-time highs in the global market and this also drives the price here at home.
Vegetable prices rose 5.4 percent in August and were the main contributor to the 0.6-percent rise in food prices, Stats NZ said, adding that tomato prices are especially high in August.
Fruit prices fell 0.5 percent, which was mainly due to lower prices for avocados, it said.
Prices for non-alcoholic beverages fell 1.2 percent, led by lower prices for supermarket-bought coffee, such as instant and ground beans, down 7.1 percent, which was mostly due to items going on special, the department said.
Food prices increased 2.3 percent in the year to August 2017, which followed a 3-percent increase in the year to July 2017, it said, adding that the smaller increase, as compared with the year to July, is due to vegetable prices coming down from recent extremely high levels.
"The exceptionally wet weather over the past year has had an impact on growing tuber vegetables such as potatoes and kumara," Haigh said, adding that the crop losses and extra manual work required for harvesting has translated into higher prices on supermarket shelves.