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New Zealand February Food Prices Climb 0.4%

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Food prices in New Zealand advanced an unadjusted 0.4 percent on month in February, Statistics New Zealand said on Wednesday - slowing from the 1.0 percent gain in January.

In February, fruit and vegetable prices rose 2.3 percent on month, while meat, poultry, and fish prices fell 0.6 percent, grocery food prices fell 0.8 percent, non-alcoholic beverage prices rose 4.1 percent and restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices rose 0.2 percent.

After seasonal adjustment, food prices rose 0.7 percent.

Butter prices fell 10 percent in February 2019 to a 19-month low as the average price for a 500g block of butter fell to NZ$5.20 in February 2019, down from a record high of NZ$5.79 in January 2019.

"In January we saw milk prices fall to a 19-month low. This price fall now looks to be flowing on to other dairy products," consumer prices manager Gael Price said.

In February 2019 prices fell for cheese (down 4.1 percent), yoghurt (down 6.7 percent), and milk (down 0.2 percent).

Food prices increased 1.7 percent in the year ended February 2019.

In February 2019 compared with February 2018: fruit and vegetable prices decreased 0.6 percent; meat, poultry, and fish prices increased 3.5 percent; grocery food prices increased 0.8 percent; non-alcoholic beverage prices increased 2.7 percent; and restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices increased 2.9 percent.

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