Thursday, June 29, 2023

Kate Hawkesby: Be prepared for a bunch of cost increases over the next few weeks

We are in for a bunch of cost increases over the next few weeks. I know, more.

It’s not like we haven’t been facing a steady stream of rising costs for a while already, but a couple of things are coming up to bite us.

One, the Government’s petrol subsidy is coming to an end this Saturday, which’ll see petrol prices jump by 29 cents a litre. That’s a lot, and it’ll hit hard in a cost of living crisis.

Not just in our tanks, but it’ll be passed on across the board in terms of transport and logistics for pretty much everything we buy.

Two, fruit and veges. That’s been rising steadily too, in fact food inflation is at its highest level in 36 years, according to a recent report.

“Stats NZ’s food price index rose 12.5 percent in the year ended April, the highest annual rate since late 1987. The main drivers over the year were a 14 percent rise in grocery prices, and more than 22 percent for fruit and vegetables prices,” the report said - more than 22 percent.  

That’s huge, and we know it because we see it in our trolleys at the supermarket, we get less food for more money, it’s depressing.

But there’s more pain to come it would seem. Producers are struggling to get stuff out of Gisborne, due to State Highway 2 north of Gisborne being closed due to flooding and storm damage, which has made all transportation of goods a logistical nightmare.

Gisborne’s Mayor said the closure’s having a big impact on the region. Meanwhile, Countdown this week put out a release saying that due to those weather events, there’s going to be limited supply of fruit and veges on supermarket shelves everywhere.

“Due to road closures, key produce suppliers are facing difficulties in transporting fruits and vegetables from Tairawhiti and Hawkes Bay, unfortunately it may take some time before the situation improves,” they said.

They highlighted bagged salads, lettuce, broccoli and mandarins as an issue, and acknowledged it’s been a challenging time for growers this year.

You’ve got to feel for them, they’ve been up against it.

So if you’re lucky enough to find broccoli and mandarins on supermarket shelves, you might find you’re paying a bit more for them too. And it’s not like we don’t already pay through the nose for fruit and veges, the sector was the ‘second-largest contributor’ to the hike in food prices this year, ‘driven by tomatoes, avocados, and potatoes.’

Haven’t avocados been dodgy?

Lack of supply, hiked up prices to $10 an avocado for a while there, and now though they’re trickling back onto shelves at better prices, the quality’s still not great.

I will admit they’re hard to grow though, trust me I’m trying, I have three avocado trees on the go and am still, a couple of years later, waiting for them to produce fruit.

So we pay more for the good stuff, it’s going to be harder to get for a while due to road closures, and then as of Saturday we’re going to pay more for petrol too.

So, I'm just wondering, what basics are left these days that don't cost a bomb?

Kate Hawkesby is a political broadcaster on Newstalk ZB - her articles can be seen HERE.


Ray S said...

Don't forget the "Super City" pay the extra 10c per ltr.

But that's OK, it goes straight into fixing the roads. NOT

Robert Arthur said...

Porridge, bread and imported baked beans have moved little. Never mind, wage demands, beneficiary payments are all inflation indexed and few are now sufficently naive to be mug savers.

Anonymous said...

It's going to be hard on a lot of people but we will pull lose weight and tighten the belt...