The price of an individual avocado has risen to AUS$7. © 123RF
The price of an individual avocado has risen to AUS$7. © 123RF

Avocado shortage pushes up prices

1 February 2016

Supply chain issues have led to a shortage of avocados in Australia, which has seen the price of individual fruit rise to around AUS$7.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported some growers had kept prices artificially low in the run up to Christmas to encourage consumption, believing demand would slip after the holiday period.

Avocados do not generally ripen until picked, giving growers the flexibility to choose when to harvest the fruit to respond to market conditions.

However, low prices before Christmas meant a growth in holiday consumption and a dearth of avocados in January, exacerbated by rainy weather which had delayed the harvesting of new fruit.

A normal wholesale price of a box of 23 avocados is between AUS$30 to AUS$40. This works out a wholesale average of AUS$1.30 to AUS$1.73 per fruit.

Press reports said the some shops had limited the number of fruit that could be bought by an individual customer.

The shortage had been made worse by a lack of imports from New Zealand where rain had also affected the avocado harvest.

In March avocados from Queensland are expected to hit the market, leading to prices to fall back to normal.

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