AU: Wholesaler says drops in vegetable supplies not uncommon at this time of year

A leading Queensland wholesaler says while there was a slight drop in vegetable volumes over the past few weeks, it is not unusual to have peaks and troughs at this time of year due to the weather.

Mark Moore from M&D Vegetable Specialists, based at the Brisbane Markets, says people should not be too concerned as the supply and demand equation changes every week, and problems that existed have mostly been remedied.

"A couple of weeks ago our supply base was pretty short, but at the moment there is much better supply," he said. "In Queensland we have had the main veggies growing at a higher altitude such as Toowoomba and Stanthorpe. They are a bit higher and have less humidity, but still we have had five or six weeks of 30 plus degree temperatures on a daily basis, with a few spikes in the mid to high 30s and the vegetables in the ground are not designed to cope with that. So they are stressed out in the paddock and the product may not yield as well or it may accelerate the growth in some regard. That may lead to a gap in supply as well."

He adds that the situation in Queensland was also slightly affected by the late supply from Victoria.

"They had their own weather events of rain and warm weather," Mr Moore said. "But the Queensland supply has been pretty constant, although a little stressed because of the heat, there was a bit of a spike a few weeks ago because Victoria had very little products, so Queensland products would go to supply their market as well as ours."

While every vegetable was affected in its own way, Mr Moore says broccoli and cauliflower were certainly lighter during the period 3-4 weeks ago, but the produce have now bounced back and values have come back on average around 50 per cent.

"It's always an equation of the growth, supply and demand, which obviously affects the prices," he said. "It's not just isolated to our growing area in Queensland, it is affected by other influences like New South Wales and Victoria and what there supply base is at the same time."

But overall, the wholesaler's message is that the low supply that occurred is not a major concern.

"It's what you would expect growing vegetables in the middle of summer in a climate such as Australia - certainly they may have been in lower supply over a week or two period, but that has certainly remedied itself now and we are back into nice supply, nice quality and certainly good value," Mr Moore said.

For more information:
Mark Moore
M&D Vegetable Specialists
Phone: +61 7 3379 5500

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