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Insights August 2020

10 August 2020 |Horticulture
Workers in the field

Insights August 2020

10 August 2020 |Horticulture
The August update provides an analysis of production and pricing trends for Australian horticulture producers.

Overview

  • There is some uncertainty around labour availability and the potential impact on farmers and consumers as mango season begins.
  • Following a period of high prices driven by lower supply, broccoli and cauliflower prices have returned to year-ago levels.

Mango season in the Northern Territory and Queensland is getting underway with an element of uncertainty around labour. Both states rely on overseas workers who have been blocked from entering the country due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. In the Northern Territory a pilot program could see 200 workers from Vanuatu fly in within weeks to assist with early season fruit picking. This is well short of the required 2,000-2,500 workers however it’s understood plans are in place to quarantine more workers after the initial pilot. Demand for the fruit is expected to grow as consumers focus on immune boosting foods and prices will likely increase if there is a disruption to supply due to fruit being left on the tree.

Banana’s remain in high supply due to favourable growing conditions across winter after a tough start to 2020. Supply has been met with strong demand from health-conscious consumers, however price has averaged below this time last year and is expected to remain under pressure over the coming months.

Broccoli and cauliflower prices have eased back to year ago levels, supply has caught up to demand with favourable growing conditions across autumn and winter allowing the market to recover from drought and bushfires at the beginning of 2020. In the lead up to spring it’s likely prices will continue to ease as supply peaks in late August.

 

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Ausmarket and Rural Bank

*Tropical price index includes bananas, mangoes, pineapples, passionfruit and paw paw.

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