Australia: Vegetable prices fall

Australian vegies are more than 10 per cent cheaper than they were a year ago. The Consumer Price Index for vegetables, which was updated by the Australian Bureau of Statistics last week, has shown a fall in vegetable prices for the past quarter.

This quarter's prices fell by 4.5 per cent, after a fall of 3.3 per cent in the previous quarter. The ABS data showed the most significant price decreases were in Brisbane and Perth, where vegetable prices were down by 6.5 and 6 per cent respectively.

Peak industry body AusVeg spokesman Andrew White said vegetable prices were 10.7 per cent lower than a year ago. "The last time vegetable prices were this low was back in the last quarter of December 2010," Mr White said.

Inflation increased by 1.2 per cent this quarter, pushing the annual inflation rate to 2.2 per cent. "Vegetables continue to represent good return for the consumer," Mr White said. "Whilst this is promising for consumers, it highlights the challenges confronting many growers. These include high energy, water and labour costs, the strong Australian dollar, and rising foreign vegetable imports."

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