Before covid hit our shores, vegetable prices were already on the rise. Fruit had fallen slightly.
Once covid hit, fruit and vegetable prices increased mainly because of labour shortages.
ANZ’s latest Agri Commodity Report found retail vegetable prices had increased by more than 2% and fruit by 20%.
ANZ’s Agribusiness Insights director Madeleine Swan said while manufacturing input prices were not a direct indicator of farmgate prices, it did provide a rough guide to what prices farmers are receiving.
The Australian horticulture industry has faced more challenges than most agricultural sectors over the past two years, she said including the seasonal worker shortage.
“Global freight shortages, and in particular refrigerated, both sea and air-based, have also impacted the ability of Australian producers to export a range of fruit products, as well as increasing the cost of many cheaper fruit and vegetable products imported into Australia.”
Next year was shaping up to be a strong year for fruit and vegetables.
“In particular, with mango production ramping up in northern Australia total forecast production is expected to be up on last year’s results,” Ms Swan said.
“Avocado production has surged in both Australia and New Zealand, with many producers now stating that they are selling produce for under production value.”