Fruit and vegetables prices in New Zealand increased in January
The higher prices pushed the cost of food up 2 percent in the same month, the biggest monthly increase since mid-2013.
Ajay Jina, managing director of Lower Hutt wholesaler and retailer Jina's World of Fresh Produce, was surprised to hear the numbers.
"There's a lot of good buys on. New Zealand watermelons are full on, now's the time to buy them."
Jina said most produce was cheap at this time of the year, He said changes in weather patterns here and overseas could also create volatility from year to year.
Overall, Jina said fruit and vegetable prices were roughly the same as last year.
After seasonal adjustment, fruit and vegetable prices fell 0.7 percent in January, while overall food prices were up 0.4 percent.
The January increase in prices followed five consecutive months of falls, and food was still 0.6 percent cheaper than it was a year ago.
Fruit and vegetable prices fell 1.2 percent over the year. ■