Tomatoes hit $13 a kilo as shortage bites in New Zealand

Tomatoes are almost $4 a kilogram more expensive than usual, Stats NZ says. Tomato prices climbed 44 per cent in the year to September, hitting an average weighted price of $13.26 a kilo last month.

These prices rises were largely due to uncertainty during the Covid-19 lockdown in April, when business restrictions meant many growers delayed planting or replanted smaller crops.

Stats NZ consumer prices manager Nicola Growden: "We are now seeing a shortage, three or four months after plantings were reduced, which has led to higher-than-normal prices. The current price of a kilogram of tomatoes is $3.98 more expensive than the previous five-year average for the September months."

While tomato prices soared, the cost of zucchini crashed back to earth from a record average of $29.60 a kilo in July to $12.36 in September. The vegetables, also known as courgettes, were spotted on sale for almost $40 a kilo at a Wellington supermarket earlier this year.

According to an article on, the price spike came after imports of some fresh vegetables from the Australian state of Queensland were banned due to a virus.

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