Oboy’s Fresh Express owner Darryl Schulte with a box of local bananas that are now down to $5.99kg.
Oboy’s Fresh Express owner Darryl Schulte with a box of local bananas that are now down to $5.99kg. Scottie Simmonds BUNBAN

Banana prices coming down

BANANAS are peeling back the months as they make a comeback to store shelves after Cyclone Yasi devastated the industry in February.

And the new availability of Queensland's signature fruit means prices are dropping quickly in outlets in Bundaberg as more supplies of cavendishes come on line.

Oboy's Fresh Express owner Darryl Schulte said during the shortage prices went as high as $12 to $14 a kilogram in Bundaberg.

"There's a bit of local fruit around as well," he said.

Mr Schulte said the delay was because of the damage Cyclone Yasi did to the trees in northern Queensland.

"Growers up there have had to plant new trees and wait for them to fruit," he said.

He said prices were still up because of demand from markets in Sydney and Brisbane.

But Mr Schulte said he expected the price in Bundaberg to drop to about $2.99 a kilogram within about four weeks, and they could even go as low as $1.99.

"The thing is, with fruit and vegetables, if the stock's there it has to be sold," he said.

"If you can't sell the stock you're throwing away mountains of bananas.

Jason Beeston, wholesale and retail manager for Beemart Enterprises, said the cloudy weather and rain in northern Queensland recently had slowed the production of bananas.

"The rain won't affect them unless they get a big wind," he said.

"But they're probably not going to harvest as many as they might have for a few weeks."

Mr Beeston said he had spoken to his suppliers and been told the markets in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne had been cleaned out of bananas.

"All the retailers and supermarkets are looking to put them out there," Mr Beeston said.

 

WHAT YOU'LL PAY

IGA

$8.99/kg

Coles

$6.98/kg

Woolworths

$7.95/kg

Beemart

$7.85/kg

Oboy's Fresh Express

$5.99/kg