Potato Prices Up 18% in New Zealand
Potato prices were up 18% in April to a weighted average price of NZD2.51 (USD1.53) per kilo, an all-time peak, Stats NZ says. Over the year, potato prices have increased by 38%, the largest contributor to the annual rise in food prices.
“Higher demand and a shortage of potato pickers, many of whom stayed home due to fear of the COVID-19 virus, could explain this large price increase,” Stats NZ consumer prices manager Bryan Downes said.
Potatoes NZ has reacted to the reported ‘record high prices’, calling the above-mentioned figures ‘skewed’, since Stats NZ is reporting on a month when supermarkets were the only source of food.
“This means the price is very much skewed compared to usual scenario. Normally the average price would include all retail outlets & therefore be lower,” says Chris Claridge, Chief Executive of Potatoes New Zealand. “Farmers are not getting more bang for their buck. Consumers are not paying 18% more for spuds.”
Stats NZ replied by saying they double-checked the higher prices for potatoes and are confident that consumers were, on average, paying more in supermarkets in April.