Summer fruit demand high despite price surge

West Australians are being urged to not give up on their favourite fruits after supplies fell and prices soared over the start of summer.

The strong demand for avocados and mangoes - and reduced crops - has pushed up prices of the popular fruits in recent weeks.

Mango growers have had a horror run, but Chamber of Fruit and Vegetable Industries chief executive Martin Clark guaranteed next season would be better.

"Generally speaking, every second year is an oversupply year and vice versa - it's just the nature of the crop," he said.

"If people are eating stuff that is in season and grown locally, the price tends to be lower, but these days people expect all types of fruit and veg all year round."

Limes were selling for $39.99/kg at IGA Doubleview earlier this week, meaning one lime cost more than $3.

Hail damage to avocado trees last year led to lighter than expected crops but demand for the fruit has been as strong as ever.

Avocados Australia chief executive John Tyas said the WA industry had responded by planting more trees in Pemberton and Manjimup.

"They are actually gearing up for a very big crop next season, so next summer there should be good supplies," he said.

"People buy avocados regularly and we want to make sure the prices stay at sustainable levels so people don't change their buying habits."

Paul Terzanidis opened Broadway Fresh in Mt Hawthorn, a store mostly focused on fruit and vegetables, just before Christmas.

He said he aimed to source top-quality produce because his customers tended to focus on appearance of fruit rather than price.

"The summer fruits like stone fruit, watermelon, mangoes and strawberries have been selling quite well," he said.

Wholesaler Mercer Mooney's export manager Bruno Delsimone said though stonefruit prices were up about 50 per cent on last year, the quality of the fruit was good.

He said growers from across the State were concerned about what impact the hot weather would have on crops this weekend.

The West Australian

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