New Zealand’s competition watchdog is mulling whether to launch a probe into possible price-fixing in the country’s dairy sector.

The Commerce Commission said it had received “a number of complaints about pricing in the dairy retail sector”.

“The Commission is making preliminary enquiries in order to determine whether to open an investigation,” the watchdog said. “Until these enquiries are completed the Commission has no further comment.”

According to local reports, consumers in New Zealand have seen the price of dairy products including milk and cheese rise by at least 22% in the last 12 months.

The price of a 1kg block of mild cheddar has soared by 65.8% since April last year, The New Zealand Herald has reported.