Australian produce prices remain high due to storms and bad growing conditions

Storms disrupting Queensland's fruit and vegetable growing regions have kept some fresh produce favourites firm in price but there is still an abundance of choice for shoppers.

Recent hail and rain deluges in the Bowen, Bundaberg and Lockyer regions have pushed up prices of broccoli and cauliflower, with the best-on-offer at expensive prices.

Beans, brussels sprouts, celery, parsnips, snow peas, silverbeet and mushrooms, along with potatoes and sweet potatoes, which are harder to source from their water-logged paddocks, are firmly priced.

Expect to pay firm prices for Victorian asparagus, affected by cooler-than-expected southern conditions, with the thinner asparagus stems typically tenderer and sweeter than the meatier texture of the fatter spears, which are stronger in flavour.

The best quality bargains include Asian vegetables, beetroot, cabbage, carrots, fennel, leeks, squash, sweet corn, zucchini and onions, with pumpkin prices still reasonable but on the rise.

There are two markets for capsicum, with better quality South Australian and New Zealand crops on the shelves beside the cheaper, average quality offerings that are weather affected.

Similarly, there are two markets for eggplant with the field grown crops firmly priced and the glamour glasshouse offerings, with their spotless, smooth, shiny skin, at the top of their price range.

In the salad aisle, recent hail has hit local lettuce crops, firming prices on quality stock.

Basil, shallots and tomatoes are also weather affected and are firmly priced.

Pick up great priced mixed leaf salad packs, cucumbers and most herbs on the shelves, although avocados are expensive.

You will be spoilt for choice in the fruit aisle as you pass by the first of the expensive lychees and cherries, the firmly priced peaches, nectarines, apricots and plums, then make your way to the Northern Territory mangoes, which are a range of sizes, and reasonable to firm in price this week depending on their quality.

Berries with average quality, summer strawberries, from the southern states, and mixed quality blueberries at value-for-money prices teamed with firmly priced raspberries.

Citrus: you can pick up honey murcott mandarins, limes and navel oranges at reasonable prices. firmly priced lemons, and the blood oranges end-of-season supplies are still on the shelves.

Pears, pineapples and passionfruit are firmly priced while average quality for end-of-season; USA-grown grapes and new season figs are expensive.


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