Quarterly Food Inflation Update - September 2023
The quarterly consumer price index (CPI) data was released today from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and it shows a clear signal that softening livestock prices are beginning to have an impact on the price of red meat at the retail level.
The beef CPI indicator shows prices falling by 1.2% over quarter three 2023 and the lamb CPI indicator has showed an even greater deflationary impact with prices dropping by 4.7%. Pork and Poultry meat is still displaying inflationary pressures of around 1%, and the fish CPI is up by 3.5%. This is leading to the combined Meat & Seafood indicator showing overall meat prices rising by 2.7% over the September quarter.
The Fruit & Vegetable category was the only other food item to show price declines for the third quarter of 2023 with the combined index down by 3.7%. Vegetables are dragging the combined index lower with a 5.6% drop versus the 1.0% easing shown by the fruit index.
Comparison to CPI levels on an annual basis highlights that versus 2022 price levels beef prices are down by 1.6%, lamb is down by 2.7% and vegetable prices have eased 2.4%. Annually cheese prices are still running the most inflationary trend with CPI levels up 13.5%. Cheeses wept!