A national shortage of avocados has pushed the prices of the fruit up to $50 a tray at Melbourne’s wholesale market equating to around $3.80 per piece of fruit in stores.
According to the director of Peninsula Avocados, Steve Marshall, the shortage is due to a bad season in WA coupled with New Zealand exporting to alternative markets, The Weekly Times Now reports.
"I've never seen prices like this, it's just astronomical,'' said Marshall who predicts that the prices could reach anywhere between $5-$8 per piece of fruit.
"It's great news for Victorian growers, who missed out on good prices last year due to a glut caused by Australian over-production and dumping of New Zealand avocados.''
Anna Petrou, communications manager for Avocados Australia echoed Marshall’s comments, stating that the adverse weather conditions experienced by WA, together with a lower supply of NZ fruit has resulted in a smaller supply in the Australian market.
"Though the NZ industry is dominating our market in the summer period their supply is lower than what was expected this season,” said Petrou
"Australian consumers can expect to see the amount of NZ avocados in stores tapering off in February 2014 and after this time Australian grown avocados will again dominate the market,'' she said.
"Australian avocado growers in the two main avocado growing regions that supply fruit in summer – Western Australia and Sunraysia growing regions – have been working to expand their capacity to meet the growing demand for avocados in summer.
"There are significant plantings of avocado trees being undertaken by avocado growers.
"This activity will assist in Australian growers being able to meet strong summer demand in future years.''