The summer tradition of the Kiwi barbecue is set to take a bigger bite out of Kiwi wallets this summer.

Data released by Statistics New Zealand showed Lamb chop prices jumped 7.7 per cent from September, reaching a record high $17.12 a kilogram, while the cost of sausages climbed 4.9 per cent to $10.30 a kilo, according to Stats NZ.

"Strong demand for exports of New Zealand meat, particularly lamb, and also falls in the New Zealand dollar, helped push our meat prices up," consumer prices manager Geraldine Duoba said.

However, the price of sirloin and porterhouse steak eased from the recent high in September to $30.72 per kilogram.


Overall, meat, poultry and fish prices rose 2.4 per cent in October.

But there was good news for the vegetarians out there.

Keeping costs in check, vegetable prices dropped 8.7 per cent in October, following a similar slide in September. Tomato prices sank 22 per cent to $6.90 a kilogram, while lettuce plunged 30 per cent to $1.28 per 500-gram head.

"Tomatoes, courgettes and lettuces all had seasonal price falls this month," Duoba said. "These prices usually keep falling as we head towards summer."

Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices inched 0.1 per cent higher last month.

Compared with a year earlier, food prices climbed 0.6 per cent, bolstered by a 2.9 per cent gain in restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices and a 2.6 per cent increase in meat, poultry and fish prices. A drop in vegetable and fruit prices, down 5.6 per cent, helped keep a lid on overall food inflation for the year.

The food price index accounts for about 19 per cent of the consumers price index, which is the Reserve Bank's mandated inflation target when setting interest rates.

At the Reserve Bank's latest cash rate review, Governor Adrian Orr said the central bank expects to keep the official cash rate at the current level, or 1.75 per cent, into 2020 and pared back language around a possible rate cut.

- BusinessDesk