The price of avocados has nearly reached a record high and food prices continue to soar.

The average price of a 200g avocado was $4.52 in June 2017 compared to $3.38 in May, according to figures released by Statistics New Zealand today.

Butter prices in June surpassed last month's highest-ever level ($4.80); a 500g block of the cheapest available butter cost $5.05 in June 2017, compared with $3.38 in June 2016.

The figures showed food prices rose 0.2 per cent overall last month.


Consumer prices manager Matthew Haigh said avocado prices tended to peak in the winter before falling in spring as new fruit became available.

"Prices are back near the record level in June last year," he said.

"Fruit and vegetable prices eased off somewhat in June, from their highs in May.

"Lettuce and broccoli prices were down, but tomato and kumara prices continued to rise. Kumara prices were at their highest-ever level - $8.18 a kilogram."

A wet autumn pushed vegetable prices to high levels in May.

Overall, food prices increased 3 per cent over the past year.

Vegetable prices increased 18 per cent, led by higher prices for tomatoes, kumara, and lettuce. The average price for 1kg of tomatoes was $8.69 in June 2017, compared with $6.77 in June 2016. However, tomatoes were typically more expensive in winter, often going above $10 a kg.

Grocery food prices rose 2.1 per cent in the year to June 2017, led by higher prices for dairy products.


Spending on grocery food such as dairy, bread, and cereals, makes up around $35 of every $100 spent on food, compared with $15 for fruit and vegetables. Because the annual increase for grocery food was much lower than fruit and vegetables, the overall increase in food prices was just 3.0 per cent.