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    Default Cost of dairy products hurting

    Cost of dairy hurts shoppers' pockets
    11:04AM Tuesday November 13, 2007



    Cheese and butter were the main culprits behind a rise in the latest food price index.

    Overall, food prices increased 0.6 per cent in the last month, Statistics New Zealand said today.

    Cheese prices rose 7.3 per cent and butter 23 per cent in October, reflecting the strong rise in dairy prices internationally.

    New Zealand Food & Grocery Council's commercial director, Lindsay Davidson, said that the trend will not just be limited to the food industry but would affect several other sectors as well.

    "The rise in commodity prices is part of a global trend triggered by rising oil prices and increasing use of biofuels," he said.

    "The rapid hike in fuel prices has greatly affected transportation costs which in turn are affecting commodity pricing."

    "Consumers will have to brace for more increases in food prices," he warned.

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    Dairy prices move into luxury zone
    The Dominion Post | Wednesday, 14 November 2007

    The dairy boom is busting wallets wide open, with a sizzling 23 per cent jump in butter prices last month.

    Cheese, milk and yoghurt prices are also rising, causing concern among nutritionists about the affordability of such foods, especially milk and cheese.

    "There are a lot of people who can't follow the recommended guidelines for healthy eating in New Zealand and as these foods become more expensive, fewer and fewer will be able to do that," Otago University nutrition expert Winsome Parnell said.

    About 10 per cent of the population would be severely affected by high food prices, and that figure would be growing, she said.

    "It means poorer nutrition and that will affect physical health."

    Overall food prices rose 0.6 per cent in October and 3.6 per cent for the year.

    Half a kilo of butter cost an average $2.47 in October, according to Statistics New Zealand figures issued yesterday, up almost a quarter in a month.

    In a Wellington supermarket, some margarines are now about half the cost of the cheapest butter.

    A big block of mild cheddar cheese in supermarkets now costs an average $7.72, up 11 per cent in October.

    Yoghurt is up more than 21 per cent in the past year.

    And milk is also up again, rising almost 4 per cent in a month to $3.01 for two litres on average.

    Milk had already risen about 9 per cent in the past year.

    World dairy prices have risen because of strong demand, more land being used for biofuels and the drought in Australia.

    World cheese and butter prices rose more than 50 per cent in just a few months this year, indicating that prices in New Zealand have further to rise.

    Milk powder prices are twice as high as the long run average. Farmers are expected to get a $6.40 a kilogram payout for milk this season, well above last year's payout.

    High world grain prices will also make poultry, bread and cereal more expensive, in time.

    Frozen chicken prices are up about about a third in the past year.

    Professor Parnell said mothers did without to protect and feed their children when household budgets were stretched.

    However, as prices rose, children would be affected.

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