22 Apr 2024

Mandarin prices fall due to soft demand

11:39 am on 22 April 2024
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Photo: RNZ/Carol Stiles

Mandarin growers are getting lower prices for their fruit this season due to soft demand, with consumers spending less.

Johnny Reed, who grows 24 hectares of satsuma and silverhill mandarins in Kaitāia, said crews had been harvesting for about two weeks.

The quality was high this year due to hot, dry weather but the price he was being paid was lower, Reed said.

"Prices are terrible this season, I think it's just the economy, mandarins are classed as a treat, it's not a staple food, so when people don't have extra money to spend, they don't buy them.

"It's definitely having an effect on sales and we're definitely feeling the squeeze, some growers might be inclined to put the price down to try and move more fruit but I don't think it will make much of a difference, it's just very quiet at the moment.

"Prices are down but wages are high and so are some other costs, so it's not really working out."

Getting the fruit south to market was also proving difficult and more expensive this year, he said.

"We have to take two detours to avoid closures over the Brynderwyn Hills and through the Mangamuka Gorge, so there's been a huge increase in freight."

Reed had his fingers and toes crossed that he would make a profit this season.