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Fish increasing in price less than meat since 2007

Jun 3rd, 2013 | By | Category: Latest News, News

MEAT has been rising in price more than fish in the past five years, but that does not mean New Zealanders are eating more seafood.

From 2007 to 2012, fresh fish prices rose an average of 19% or 3.5% a year, according to Statistics NZ’s Seafood Industry Report.

For the same period, prices for lamb jumped 35% and beef rose 22%, although that is not necessarily reflected in retail prices.

A spokesman for seafood company Moana Pacific Fisheries, Richard Evans, says there has been no big increase in retail sales recently.

“We certainly haven’t had any significant retail increases in the past 12 months.”

Mr Evans says the most popular fish sold on the domestic market are inshore species like tarakihi, blue cod, blue warehou, gurnard, but there are regional differences.

Shoppers in higher-income areas tend to buy premium fillets such as blue cod and snapper, whereas people on a budget usually go for hoki, red cod, kahawai and mullet, he says.

“Lower socio-economic areas tend to buy whole fish, cheaper species or cheaper fillets, while higher-income areas tend to buy premium fillets such as blue cod.”

Most popular fish buys seem to be tarakihi, snapper, gurnard, hoki, and blue warehouse, Mr Evans says.

A spokesman for industry group Seafood New Zealand, Don Carson, says, though fish prices have risen marginally, they reflect the international market place.

He says the amount of fish exports affect the prices New Zealand retailers end up charging.

Snapper and blue cod are still New Zealand’s most expensive fish.

Snapper is up 10% at $37.47 a kilogram up from $33.67/kg. Blue cod went up 9% to $36.62/kg, when in 2007 it was $29.22/kg.

Over the 2007-2012 period trevally led the price rise with hoki lagging behind.

According to Statistic NZ , hoki, trevally and red cod were attractive choices for budget-conscious shoppers.

Over five years red cod showed the biggest increase 19.5%, $13.80/kg to $16.92/kg. Followed hoki 17.5%, from $11.56/kg to $14.01/kg, and trevally 10.4%, from $16.12/kg to $17.99/kg.

Wellington shopper Janet Nixon buys gurnard and trevally regularly. She has in recent years noticed “a slight price increase” for fish under $20 a kilo, but “nothing major”.

For most families she says “it is not your daily buy”, because of cost.

Ms Nixon who fishes in summer says while top of the range fish have increased in price, there is less variety of fish available.   “When you are paying say $17 to $25 a kilo for red meat, the prices are much the same.”

While the figures released show a lower level of price increase for fish over five years, compared with red meat, figures for the past two years have been different.

Statistics NZ reported that, overall, fresh fish prices increased 1.2% in 2012 after increasing 2.9% in total over the previous two years.

In comparison, beef prices rose 0.2% in 2012, poultry prices were flat, and lamb prices fell 11%.

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is Born in Wellington, exported to the Te Nehenehenui by my Nanni. Now working as a Native for the betterment of society.
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