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AU: Fresh produce prices rebound at ColesFruit and vegetable prices at Coles have rebounded after plunging in the third quarter due to a boost in supply and heavy discounting against the supermarket chain's arch rival, Woolworths.
Wesfarmers managing director Richard Goyder said its Coles supermarket chain recorded price falls of 25 per cent in the first quarter, but deflation was now confined to about 10 per cent.
"We've had this year an absolute abundant supply and so that's created a deflationary impact and that supply is coming off in terms of volume a bit now," Mr Goyder told reporters on Tuesday.
Coles on Tuesday reported $7.8 billion in third quarter sales, up 4.9 per cent from $7.5 billion in the previous corresponding period.
But the supermarket giant cut its fresh produce prices by more than Woolworths, which posted 20 per cent price falls, in the third quarter as grocers around the country suffered a similar fate.
Official inflation data also released on Tuesday shows a 30 per cent drop in fruit prices in the March quarter.
It comes a year after flooding and storms caused big price rises in bananas, soft vegetables, pears, zucchinis and capsicums.
Publication date: 4/25/2012
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