FESTIVE COLOURS: Beemart retail manager Shane Olsen with two summer favourites that are pricier than usual this Christmas.
FESTIVE COLOURS: Beemart retail manager Shane Olsen with two summer favourites that are pricier than usual this Christmas. Eliza Goetze

What you'll pay for your fave fruit and veg this Christmas

IF YOU'RE preparing your belly for your favourite Christmas fruits, prepare for a hit to the hip pocket.

Lychees, cherries and mangoes are all "very dear", according to Beemart owner Neville Beeston.

"Today lychees are going for $110 for a 5kg tray (at the markets)," Mr Beeston said.

"They're usually around $30 or $40."

Lychee farmer Neville Royan, of Red Ridge Farms, said unseasonably warm weather could be a factor.

"Both mangoes and lychees need cool weather to flower," Mr Royan said.

"You talk to other growers in the district and they have one block that's flowering and the next one's not."

Mr Beeston said lychee quality and availability was expected to be "really good" in about three weeks.

"Cherries are as high as $100 a tray in Brisbane today," he said.

His advice? Get them now.

 

PUMPKIN APLENTY: Beemart's Geoff Gauld says pumpkin is cheap and abundant this Christmas.
PUMPKIN APLENTY: Beemart's Geoff Gauld says pumpkin is cheap and abundant this Christmas. Eliza Goetze

"A lot of stores have them on special this week - they'll be very dear next week."

Fruit and vegetable prices are "a very mixed bag" this Christmas, Mr Beeston said.

"Apricots are usually dear at Christmas but this year they're very reasonable, along with nectarines, peaches and plums."

Watermelons have hit record prices, with local watermelons much cheaper than in Brisbane.

"They're retailing in Brisbane for up to $5 a kilo."

Kensington pride mangoes have had a dire season, while calypsos and R2E2 fared slightly better.

Bananas, meanwhile, are in oversupply.

"Go for banana custard for Christmas," Mr Beeston said. "Pineapples are also reasonable and very good eating."

Salad lines like cucumber, tomato, lettuce and onions are all on the cheap, and if you're planning a roast, go for pumpkin and carrot, as potatoes and sweet potatoes are "sky high".

"There have been some bigger players come on the market who have scared a few smaller farmers away," sweet potato farmer and Mr B Fresh owner Ben Prichard said. "All the rain down south also wiped out a lot of potato crops, so people have been replacing them with sweet potato, we suspect."


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