Banana comeback slowed
SLOW: Geoff Bush says recovery will take another six months EARLY predictions of a 16-week turnaround in the cyclone banana cycle have blown-out by at least another two months.
Cardwell grower Geoff Bush said it would be ano t her s i x weeks b e f o r e bunches started to form on the trees that were too small to be blown down when Cyclone Yasi struck on February 2.
‘‘ I think, give us six weeks before bunches start appearing and then four months after that before we harvest,’’ he said.
If Mr Bush is
it could well be some time in September before things get back to normal in the banana industry.
And ‘‘ normal’’ in the banana industry these days means back to an oversupply situation that would see the shop price fall from what could well be a $ 12/ kg price in a few more weeks t o p r e - c y c l o n e l o ws o f around $ 3/ kg.
In the days after the cyclone, the industry was expecting the supply chain to be back in full production some time in late July.
Mr Bush said rain and a lack of sunshine over the six weeks since Yasi had slowed growth rates, not just in bananas but in sugar cane as well.
Mr Bush said he and his family had all 400,000 of their adult banana trees blow over in the cyclone.
He said some growers had saved some of their trees by slashing the leaves off in the days leading up to the cyclone.
He said these trees still produced bunches of bananas, but may be slighter smaller.