Market Price Reporting Terminology

It is important that all recipients of Fruit and Vegetable Market Reports are fully aware of the terminology that is used. This applies irrespective of whether the Market Reports appear in the newspaper, are heard on the radio, or are received on a subscription basis.

Daily Fruit and Vegetable Market Reports are produced to meet the varying needs of all sectors of the Industry. For this reason it is important that all prices obtained on the day are reported and not just those that are of interest to a particular group. Small specialty buyers requiring a particular grade, particular sizes, or who have other specific requirements will undoubtedly pay more than the larger buyers who take full pallet or bin lots. Market Reports must have the same relevance to both groups of buyers if they are to be seen to be credible. However, there should be few instances when major buyers pay the "Best" price on the day and there would be equally few instances where small specialty buyers, who may need to sort through numerous packages to source the two or three that they require, would pay the same price as those larger buyers.

Producers need to be aware that whilst Market Reports may be important to them in monitoring prices, they are also used by many other sectors of the Industry, often for quite different purposes. We do not believe that a Market Reporting system where market prices passed on to producers are what they want to hear, or are what they are likely to be paid, has any place in the Industry at this point in time. If this was allowed to occur the Report would have little relevance to any other sector and a most important mechanism to check on prices would be lost. Continual monitoring of prices by buyers is the greatest contributor to accurate disclosures.

Although producers want to maximize their returns and are therefore looking for top prices they do need to recognize at what point their returns are likely to compare to the Daily Market Report. Top producers should expect returns based on the top of the Price Range for selected sizes of their best produce. Volume producers who may not be able to monitor grading and packing as closely should more realistically be looking to the Most Sales range as the basis for their returns. Second grade sound produce or unpopular extreme sizes will generally fall at the bottom of the Most Sales range and may even be below the bottom of Most Sales in some instances.

It is also important to recognize that the prices reported are wholesale selling prices within the Market on the day. These are subject to a number of deductions including commission/profit margin, stacking and unloading charges and even freight where it has not been pre-paid.

By understanding the relationship between Market Report prices and returns, producers will not only gain more valuable information from those Reports, their relationship with their wholesaler will also benefit. Daily prices are sourced from the widest possible cross section of buyers on the day. However, they are not a record of each and every sale in the Market and should only be treated as the most accurate independent guide that is currently available. 

Report Layout

Product Description

Daily Fruit and Vegetable Market Reports generally follow a standard layout. The Crop is always specified and the variety grouping and or variety may also be included where applicable. Group covers products with similar characteristics such as Red or Green in Capsicums or White Seeded or White Seedless in the case of Grapes. Any variety names that are used apply to true varieties. E.g. Grapes, White Seedless, Sultana.

The range of packaging that is now in use is extremely diverse. Standardised terms that are universally used within the Industry are used for many packages eg AACarton for Apples, APBag for Potatoes APCarton for Pears. In other instances the package size will be identified by volumetric capacity. E.g. Zucchinis 18LCtn, Egg Plant, Continental 9LCtn. Where Industry standards for the contents are in place such as Tomatoes 10Kg, Strawberries 250g these terms are used. Where produce is sold in bulk or there are no recognizable standard packs, such as some of the Exotics, prices are shown per Kg.

Grades, where shown, include Extra Grade, No1 Grade, No2 Grade, Composite and Out of Grade.

Extra Grade is superior to No1 Grade and refers to that small proportion of produce in which every item in every package is virtually free from any skin marking, is of uniform size shape and colour, and complies completely with the varietal characteristics of the particular crop. Very little produce on offer at any time can be considered to be Extra Grade.

No1 Grade refers to produce that is sound, totally free from live insects or disease or chemical residue or unhealed wounds, generally consistent with varietal characteristics, is relatively uniform in size shape and colour and has a low level of superficial skin marking. In essence, No1 Grade produce is consistent with Freshspecs specifications.

No2 Grade refers to produce that is sound, totally free from live insects or disease or chemical residue or unhealed wounds, but not consistent with varietal chacteristics, or not uniform in size shape and colour or has a moderate to high level of skin marking which does not affect the keeping or eating quality of the product.

Composite Grade refers to produce that is predominantly No1 Grade but does contain a higher than allowable proportion of lesser quality product which still conforms to No2 Grade specifications.

Out of Grade refers to produce that contains live insects or some diseased produce or chemical residue or unhealed wounds but is still saleable albeit usually at a heavily discounted price.   

Sizes, where shown, include ExLarge, Large, Medium, Small, VerySmall. Where ever possible, counts or measurements are included. 

Price Range

There is always a "Price Range". This covers the top price recorded on the day for virtually all sales. The lower price shows the lowest recorded price for saleable produce in the classification shown. Producers with extremely good quality could reasonably expect selected sizes in some of their lines to be sold at or somewhere near the top price.

Most Sales

The "Most Sales", where it appears, attempts to identify where the bulk of sales on the day falls within the Price Range. Most Sales generally covers around 80% of the produce sold on the day. It is within this range that the majority of sound produce which is true to grade should have been sold.

Best Price

"Best" is the absolute highest price recorded on the day and should not be considered to be within the range of general sales. Best could refer to one outstanding line of produce in limited quantities or even selected sizes within that line. Best can also refer to sales where the produce has been purchased from another selling floor to meet a specific order. Whilst the "Best" price is not of particular relevance to the vast majority of producers, the inclusion of all prices in the Report is an essential element in ensuring total transparency and assists in maintaining the overall accuracy of the Reports.

Report Terms

Supply

Indicates the level of supplies available in relation to the quantities that would be available under normal conditions. VLight, Light, Mod, Good or Heavy are used.

Demand

Indicates the level of market trading compared to what would be expected under normal trading conditons. Weak, Slow, Fair, Adeq, Good or VGood are used.

Carryover

Indicates the amount of produce remaining on hand which would normally have been sold. Some, Large, Heavy or VHeavy are used.

Quality

Indicates the general quality level for the bulk of product on offer. Good, Fair, Poor or Mixed are used.

Origin

The Australian States of Origin are always shown and International origins are usually specified by Country. Abreviations include A=ACT, N=NSW, Q=QLD, S=SA, T=TAS, V=VIC, W=WA, Y=NT, I=Imported. Regions may also be shown where this contributes toward a price difference.