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Fruit prices fall after good harvest

Consumers are reaping the benefit of the good fruit harvest with prices up to 30% cheaper than last year

GOOD fruit harvests have meant cheaper prices in the shops – up to 30% of a reduction since last year – and consumers are refusing to pay more for in-demand goods.

Prices for fruit such as apricots have tumbled 30% while tomatoes on the vine have fallen by 7%.

Some fruit such as peaches and nectarines have produced harvests up to 16% above last season’s – 326,000 tonnes – while the apricot harvest is 115% higher than last year because the 2008 crop was hit by bad frosts.

Fruit sellers are noticing that some products, like artichokes and broccoli are not selling so well, but they say that the good weather is bringing in better-than-expected sales of tomatoes and cucumbers which go well with barbecues.

They also say that the economic crisis has turned the usual supply-demand equation on its head: Consumers are demanding more product but are refusing to pay inflated prices – so prices are staying low.

Those low prices include melons at €1.80 each, peaches at €2.20 and apricots at €2.50 per kilo, plus cucumbers at 75centimes.

However, the increased harvest and reduced prices has hit producers who say they are being paid less than the price of production.

One farmer in Tarn-et-Garonne said he was getting €2.30 per kilo of cherries – down from €3 last year – and his production costs had gone up between 5-10%.

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