Banana prices expected to jump after Tropical Cyclone Niran damage
The price of bananas is expected to jump temporarily after Tropical Cyclone Niran caused an estimated $180 million in damage to Far North Queensland’s crops.
Queensland is responsible for approximately 94 per cent of Australia’s banana production, the majority of which is grown in Far North Queensland.
Economists and fruit sellers are forecasting a rise in the price of of the popular fruit after the wild weather levelled almost a third of the country’s crops.
“Shoppers should expect to see maybe 50c to $1 a kilo going up in price in the next coming weeks or months,” consumer expert Gary Mortimer told 9News.
The Australian Banana Growers Association says other growers will pick up the slack for those impacted by the cyclone and the small price hike is only temporary, with shoppers encouraged to continue supporting the industry.
“Remember, 50c to $1 isn’t a big hit when you consider what these farmers are facing, continue to support them, and buy up big,” Mr Mortimer said.
After Tropical Cyclone Larry and Tropical Cyclone Yasi did significant damage to crops in 2006 and 2011 respectively, the price per kilo jumped by $2.
While Tropical Cyclone Niran didn’t actually touch down in Australia, remaining hundreds of kilometres off the Queensland coast, the weather system associated with it struck hard last week.
Communities along the coast between Cape Melville and Innisfail saw wind gusts of around 100km per hour with areas including Cooktown, Port Douglas, and Cairns feeling the full impact.
It is believed close to half of the 11,000 hectares of banana crops around North Queensland were damaged and the clean-up could take anywhere up to 12 months.
While prices at major supermarkets including Coles and Woolworths haven’t yet been affected by the damage, this is expected to change in coming weeks.