Prices for milk, cheese and eggs increased 6.7% in the year
to March, reflecting the global increase in dairy prices, ASB
economist Christine Leung said yesterday.
Statistics New Zealand figures showed food prices overall
fell 0.3% in March, broadly in line with expectations,
producing an annual growth figure of 1.2%.
Prices of fruit and vegetables and meat were stronger than
expected but were largely offset by an unexpected fall in
grocery prices, she said.
Recent Global Dairy Trade auctions showed an easing in global
dairy prices, suggesting further price falls at the retail
level in coming months.
The increase in meat prices was driven by higher beef and
lamb prices in March. However, global lamb and beef prices
have eased since late last year, as the Australian drought
prompted farmers to bring forward livestock slaughter.