Erratic buying is wreaking havoc on prices

Australian growers urge consumers to stop panic-buying groceries

Steve Kluck grows cabbage, cauliflower and speciality varieties of lettuce near Helidon. The Queensland grower urges consumers to stop panic buying, as the erratic sales are forcing down the prices for some vegetables. Also, the unpredictable buying was making it hard for farmers and retailers to forecast demand and supply the right amounts of produce. Instead he said at times the market had been oversupplied which resulted in very low prices.

"There's so much uncertainty with buyers, one week there's plenty of orders and we're keeping up and the next minute we're basically slashing crop in because the orders are so far down from what they usually are," he told

"It eased through the middle [of the year] as things calmed down a little bit and then in Queensland this recent virus scare caused a bit of uncertainty and a bit of panic which has definitely impacted supermarket orders. Also the food service industry appears to be down about 50 per cent — there's hardly any planes flying, the restaurants aren't at their capacities, so there's a lot of vegetables and stuff that goes into that industry that's now not going in. So with the same amount of produce grown, there's an oversupply [of some vegetables] … anytime there's an oversupply, the prices plummet."

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