Gaps in retail food prices between Tokyo and New York, Paris and London shrank last year, according to survey results released Monday by the government.

The price index for 29 food items in the survey, conducted in November, was 92 in New York, 89 in Paris and 84 in London against the base 100 for Tokyo. In a survey conducted the previous year, the index was 89 for New York, 79 for Paris and 77 for London, the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry said.

The shrinkage reflects a surge in food prices in Europe due to record-breaking summer temperatures in 2003 and lower prices for perishables in Tokyo, it said.

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