Happy with the lower prices, Rachel Erbacher, 22, with a box of bananas at Erbachers Fruit and Veg.
Happy with the lower prices, Rachel Erbacher, 22, with a box of bananas at Erbachers Fruit and Veg. Cade Mooney

Bananas bounce back

THE humble banana is back.

After becoming something of a luxury item for Aussie families, the first harvest since last summer's cyclone and flooding has boosted supplies in Coast shops and brought prices back to earth.

The drop in price from about $14.99/kg to $7.99/kg has seen consumer demand boom, but more unstable weather in far north Queensland has fruit and vegetable retailers issuing a word of caution.

Erbachers Fruit and Vegetables co-owner Cyril Erbacher said he believed prices might not drop too much more by summer.

"Maybe they will drop to around $4.99/kg," he said.

"I'm just going by what happened after Cyclone Larry. We were still selling at about $5 by summer so I don't think it will be much different now.

"A lot will depend on the weather.

"At the moment up north is struggling with cooler weather than normal, which is about 30 degrees.

"With the flooding and rain now up there, it's really a never-ending struggle."

Mr Erbacher said he remembered a time when he sold more than 50 boxes of bananas a day.

"When we were at $10 per kilo we sold about five boxes per day. At $8 we sell about 16 boxes and when the price drops to $2.50 we sell 50 boxes per day or more," he said.

"Four weeks ago the prices came down a bit and demand really picked up but the weather cooled down again and prices came back up. We haven't had empty shelves like the bigger supermarkets.

"They are advertising at a rate they can't maintain because they are selling them for less than they are buying them and supply can't keep up so the bananas are going to sell out quick."

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