Susan Hall keeps the banana stand well stocked at the Glenmore IGA this week.
Susan Hall keeps the banana stand well stocked at the Glenmore IGA this week. Allan Reinikka

Consumers pay big for bananas

ROCKHAMPTON’S Susan Hall hasn’t been handling as many bananas these days as she used to.

It wasn’t that long ago that Susan and her colleagues in the produce section at Glenmore’s IGA store were selling 100 cases of bananas a week.

These days, with prices up around the $13/kg mark, it’s between 10 and 20 cases.

The good news for Susan and fruit and vegetable lovers across Rockhampton is the outlook for cheaper prices is brighter.

This week Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan nominated higher fruit prices as a key factor in lifting the rate of inflation in the June quarter.

Mr Swan said the 27% increase in fruit prices, a result of the summer’s natural disasters, added 0.4% to the overall 0.9% inflation rate.

“This has been tough on family budgets, but we do know that prices should come down as crops regrow and as farm production comes on,” he said on Wednesday.

Well-known Rockhampton fruit and vegetable retailer Robbie Dunnett yesterday said he’d taken bananas off his shelves because of the high prices.

“It’s been the worst season I have seen in the 30-odd years I have been in this game,” Robbie said.

He said customers would be happy prices on some favourites were on the way down.

“With the way interest rates have been going, no-one is spending much,” Robbie said.

Susan said some people still chose to eat bananas even at the higher prices.

Glenmore’s IGA’s average banana price has been about $12.99/kg and the highest they’ve had is $15.99.

Coles spokesperson Jon Church said this year’s weather conditions had been challenging.

“Our producers have done a fantastic job to keep produce on the shelves for customers and we have worked hard to keep prices as low as possible,” Mr Church said.

“Bananas are expected to start to reduce in price over the next few months as the supply situation improves.”

 

Fruity future

Robbie Dunnett’s tips:

  • Bananas about $13/kg now, expected to come back to between $2 and $3 by October;
  • Tomatoes about $5 to $6 a kg now, expected to come back to between $2 and $3 in coming weeks;
  • Capsicum about $13 a kg now, expected to come back to between $3 and $4 in coming weeks;
  • Apples about $2 a kg now, expected to stay about the same price; and
  • Mandarins about $2 a kg now, expected to stay about the same.


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