Nicky Pickering from Harvest Markets at Booval Fair. Vegetable prices are down 18% from this time last year.
Nicky Pickering from Harvest Markets at Booval Fair. Vegetable prices are down 18% from this time last year. Claudia Baxter

Vegies cheaper for Christmas

THE traditional Christmas dinner could work out a fair bit cheaper for Ipswich families this year, thanks to a drop in vegetable prices.

Industry group AusVeg said the overall price of vegetables had dropped by 18% compared to the same time in 2010, with a massive oversupply of produce marked as the main contributing factor.

AusVeg spokesman Andrew White said the overall category that had experienced the biggest drop in price in comparison to last year was salad vegetables, with a decrease of 21%.

"The prices of hard cooked vegetables fell by 15% and soft cooked vegetables are 12% cheaper this year compared to last year," he said.

The data was contained in the quarterly Veginsights report, which compared prices from the last week in November 2010 compared to the last week of November 2011.

Harvest Markets Booval Fair owner Rob Sayle said there had been a noticeable price drop on all fresh produce, including fruit.

The most noticeable price difference has been in bananas which, after reaching astronomical heights of up to $15 per kg after Cyclone Yasi, have now skydived to $1.29 per kg - a 92% price reduction.

"There is not one thing that is really scarce at the moment," Mr Sayle said.

"It all comes down to supply and demand."

The oversupply is bringing more pain to farmers who have recently been hit by catastrophic flooding.

Gatton vegetable grower Keith Jackwitz said the winter season was a complete disaster and summer wasn't looking much better.

"There are farmers openly saying that they won't back up again next year," Mr Jackwitz said.

Mr Jackwitz said there were two major contributing factors: the post-flood recovery and the intense competition between Coles and Woolworths.

 

Cheapest vegies

Capsicums

Sweet corn

Zucchinis

Beans

Cauliflowers

Tomatoes

(compared to November 2010 price) Source: AusVeg