Aussie households struggling to keep up with the cost of living will be happy to know the low prices they’re paying for some grocery items will continue to drop further this year, with some farmers reporting a bumper crop.
Industry experts have said price falls will include meat, poultry and grain, while some fruit and vegetable costs will remain low.
The National Farmers Federation said there has been a strong supply of berries, lettuce and avocados to markets, and the prices will not increase further.
“It’s great news for consumers,” NFF Horticulture Council executive officer Richard Shannon said.
“Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen dramatic increases to the cost of production. That’s a result of disrupted supply chains,” Shannon explained, in reference to the Queensland floods as well as increased prices for fertiliser, packaging and farm labour.
“Some of those supply chains are starting to open up again,” he continued.
Avocados Australia’s weekly supermarket report saw the price of a single avocado being about $1.80 to $3, depending on the variety.
CEO John Tyas said customers could expect prices to stay that low, with avocado supply up 10 per cent for the May season.
“We’re expecting pretty steady supply through to the end of the year,” he said.
Lettuce was four times its usual price mid-2022, being sold at $12 a head.
It is now priced at $3.50 at various stores.
A spokesperson for the peak body representing vegetable growers, AusVeg, said the cost of winter vegetables such as carrots, lettuce, celebrity, pumpkin and beans would also see a drop in price as they come into season due to a strong supply.
Other retail experts predict the price of meat and poultry will come down after having peaked in 2022.
QUT Business School Professor of Marketing and Consumer Behaviour Gary Mortimer told Sunrise, “With growing conditions improving, we’ll start to see more supply into the market, and accordingly, prices will fall,” “I think we’ll see some price relief in some of the other fresh departments, including meat, particularly poultry and grain.”
Mortimer also said as farmers, particularly in central NSW, recovered from two years of drought, there was more grain to feed their livestock.
The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences’ latest forecast for sheep and lamb prices confirmed meat prices would fall because “farmers had rebuilt their flocks” and there were more animals available for slaughter.
According to BARES’ latest agricultural snapshot, “industry production and export values are forecast to hit record levels in 2022-23, with broadacre and dairy farm cash incomes remaining well above historical benchmarks”.
Executive director Dr Jared Greenville said the good performance would likely continue into the foreseeable future, with weather partners expected to return to normal after several years of severe rainfall in some regions.
“Despite the deteriorating conditions, strong soil moisture, full water storages and the rebuilding of our herds and flocks will provide a buffer for overall production, giving us another year in the high country,” he said.
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This article first appeared on Over60.