Bananas a bargain
PEOPLE are still getting bananas 'bloody cheap'.
That's what Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Horticulturalist Greg Ireland says since the spike in banana prices in the wake of Cyclone Larry.
"At $3.98 a kilo in Woolworths a week ago bananas are the exact same price as nectarines and peaches," he said.
"They're still the cheapest product on the market and highly nutritious," he said.
He said that the grower needs $1 a kilo just to break even and the supermarkets are often losing money on bananas when they sell them cheap.
"Supermarkets use bananas as a loss leader to attract customers into the store and they are willing to lose money on them because people buy bananas regularly."
Woolgoolga banana grower Nicky Singh from Korora reckons the price of bananas came down last week because salvaged bananas were still coming down from Northern Queensland but would see a price rise after Easter after the salvaged bananas have been cleared.
"Demand for bananas has slowed over the past couple of weeks because of resistance from consumers when the price goes up," he says.
In all the local growers are happy with what they are getting for bananas.
Bonville grower Mick Gentle has seen bananas as high as $6.99 a kilo recently and though many growers have not yet had their returns for recent crops, he says that local growers seem to be getting between $42 and $50 per carton for bananas, compared to between $7 amd $10 before the cyclcone.
"We can't complain," Mr Gentle said.
"We've all got friends up there and they are totally devastated. We don't want to be making profit out of their loss."
Mr Ireland maintains that compared to other things bananas are still very cheap.
"When you see kids in supermarket trolleys munching on Mars Bars or packets of chips, they would be better off munching on a banana," he said.
"A banana is far more nutritious and better value by far," he said.