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Record bacon, beef mince prices drive up overall food price increase

Bacon and beef mince prices rose to record levels last month, helping drive an overall increase in food prices.

Statistics New Zealand said today bacon was up 11 per cent in August to $12.96 for 700 grams.

Consumer prices manager Sarah Johnson said it was due to a worldwide shortage of pork following an outbreak of African swine fever.

“We import a lot of our bacon, so prices are very dependent on the global market,” Ms Johnson said.

Beef mince also reached a record high average price of $16.21, compared with $15.39 in July and $14.35 in August last year.

“Increased demand from China has pushed up prices for New Zealand beef,” Mrs Johnson said.

“When export prices rise overseas, we often see it reflected on the shelf here, too.”

Fruit and vegetable prices have also pushed food prices up.

Tomato prices rose to nearly $10 per kilogram in August, jumping over $3 per kilogram in price - up by 51 per cent from July.

One kilogram of tomatoes was $9.96 last month, compared with $6.59 in July.

Ms Johnson said it was typical for August which was the most expensive time of the year to buy tomatoes. The cheapest time of year to buy tomatoes is typically mid-summer when they sell for less than $3 per kilogram.

Meanwhile, strawberry prices fell 23 per cent and nectarines were down 13 per cent.

Food prices rose 2.1 per cent this year due to increases in meat, poultry and fish prices.

Bacon prices streaked ahead last month, while food prices have seen an overall increase. Source: istock.com