Cooler months put pressure on winter crop market prices

HEALTHY LIVING: Shop about for bargains.
HEALTHY LIVING: Shop about for bargains.

CHILLIER weather impacts quality, availability and price in the Brisbane Produce Market as we transition into the cooler months, but that means some great buys on winter crops that are coming into season.

The best buys include Asian vegetables, beans, beetroot, brussels sprouts and great quality zucchini, which has dropped in price.

Carrots have increased in price since summer and most other vegetable lines will remain firm for a while, including cauliflower, capsicum, eggplant, fennel, leeks, snow peas, silverbeet, squash and mushrooms.

Celery should stay firm in price.

Lucky shoppers may find some parsnips in their local fruit shop, but they can expect to pay a premium as these have been in very short supply.

You will also find broccoli to have firmed in price since the warmer months, but the quality has been outstanding and well worth a few extra cents.

Onions and potatoes have been reasonable in price for good quality produce and prices should stay low on sweet potato and pumpkin.

Some of the staples of the salad aisle were in very short supply at the beginning of May.

Tomatoes and avocadoes have been very expensive during May - avocadoes will likely be less than ripe so buy early and keep them on your bench so they can ripen up for use later in the week.

Luckily for salad lovers, lettuce, mixed leaf and cucumbers have all continued to drop in price to even things out.

Eshallots look set to remain firm in price and all herbs have been reasonably priced, although coriander and basil may be in short supply.

There have been plenty of reasonably-priced, seasonal fruits on Your Local Fruit Shop shelves including limes, new season imperial mandarins, plums, pineapples and Queensland navel oranges, which have recently appeared in the Market, although the imported Californian variety is still better quality, but will cost a little more.

Lemons have dropped in price and, like pears, are really good quality and a great buy.

As the temperature drops bananas have firmed in price, joined by grapes.

Strawberries will remain fair in quality and customers will be lucky to find imported New Zealand blueberries in some stores, but both berry lines are expensive.

Other fruit ranges that have stayed on the expensive side include kiwifruit, watermelon, honey dew melon, passionfruit, paw paw and mangoes from Mexico.

Trusty apples look set to remain reasonably priced, but more expensive for the jazz variety and shoppers will also find custard apples that are of good quality.

Queensland figs and rockmelons should stay firmly priced to round out the fruit aisle.

There are plenty of exotic fruits still available with persimmons, dragon fruit, feijoas and rambutans all available and of good quality.

Topics:  food fresh produce

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