The Statistics New Zealand food price index, which measures changes in food prices, shows record-high prices for courgettes, up 74 percent in the month of June 2020 compared to May, to $21.42 per kilogram. Lettuce prices were up 53.1 percent and tomato prices were up 27 percent - a rise of 48 percent year-on-year.
The overall price of vegetables rose 7.6 percent in June compared to May.
Statistics New Zealand consumer prices manager Sarah Johnson, said that due to the courgette growing season coming to an end, combined with no Queensland imports, there was a local shortage.
Due to the cucumber green mottle mosaic virus, Queensland imports of fresh cucurbit, including courgettes were suspended in December last year. The Ministry for Primary Industries told Statistics New Zealand they were waiting for a proposal on the way forward.
Overall food prices rose by a modest 0.5 percent in June (0.4 percent after seasonal adjustments). Fruit prices dropped 1.5 percent, partially offsetting the rise in vegetable prices. Among the fruit and vegetable prices that dropped from May to June were kiwifruit (down 25.2 percent), carrots (down 12.3 percent), potatoes (down 9.9 percent) and apples (down 9.5 percent).