Australian vegetable prices continue to track below inflation over the year
The Consumer Price Index for vegetables, which was updated by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today to reflect data from the December 2013 quarter, has shown vegetable prices continue to offer value for money and remain below inflation over the year.
“In the past year, vegetable prices have increased by just 1.4 per cent compared to a 2.7 per cent increase for inflation. What we are seeing is that vegetables continue to represent fantastic value overall for the consumer,” said AUSVEG Manager of Industry Development and Communications, Andrew White.
AUSVEG is Australia’s leading horticulture body representing 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.
“Fluctuating weather conditions in some parts of Australia may have potentially affected levels of production for some crops in the lead up to Christmas, which may have led to the increase in vegetable prices during the December quarter by 7.1 per cent at the retail level,” Mr White said.
“We expect this to be a temporary shock and anticipate that vegetable prices are likely to return to more moderate levels in the coming months,” said Mr White.
“Vegetable prices tend to fluctuate quite extensively due to many factors, and vary considerably between states and between different crops. For example, according to the ABS vegetable price decreases in the past year occurred only in Darwin by 1.3 per cent and Melbourne by 1.1 per cent, whereas the most significant price increases occurred in Canberra by 7.0 per cent, Brisbane by 6.2 percent and Hobart by 4.0 per cent,” said Mr White.
“While one crop might be down in price slightly due to greater supply one month, the next month it could be up slightly due to the effect of poor weather,” said Mr White.
“We would encourage consumers to buy Australian vegetables, given the industry is currently experiencing a challenging period, with high input costs and tricky seasonal conditions affecting growers’ operations. Consumers purchasing Australian-grown vegetables will assist in improving the sustainability and longevity of Australian growers,” Mr White said.
“When you consider that since vegetable price data was first recorded in 1989, vegetable prices have only gone up by 64 per cent in total, compared to 93 per cent for inflation over the same amount of time. This is a significant difference over time and encapsulates the resilience of Australian vegetable growers,” Mr White said.
MEDIA CONTACT: Andrew White, Manager of Industry Development and Communications, AUSVEG; Phone: (03) 9882 0277 Mobile: 0409 989 575 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org