Wesfarmers says full flood impacts unclear
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SYDNEY, Jan 30 AAP
January 30 2013, 3:43PM
Wesfarmers chief Richard Goyder says it is too early to assess the effect of the Queensland and NSW floods on food prices but the conditions are causing some delays to deliveries in affected areas.
Mr Goyder told analyst and media briefings for Wesfarmers' half year sales results on Wednesday that while it was too early to assess whether the floods would affect the fresh produce supply at its supermarket chain Coles, it was still committed to low prices.
"The flood impacts are a bit early to assess," he said.
"It's not a key growing time at the moment. Some areas will be highly impacted but hopefully not from a customer point of view.
"Coles will keep pushing hard, not just only on prices but on value."
Mr Goyder said he also believed that produce such as ginger and sweet potatoes that were grown in the Bundaberg region, one of the hardest hit areas, could be found elsewhere.
"I'm sure there will be other sources," he said.
"Time will tell. It will have some impact and obviously it will have some impact on the producers in that region, which is not good news for them."
He said the biggest problem at present caused by the floods was delays to deliveries in and around affected areas.
"The indications are that the biggest initial issue is logistics, just getting product in and out of places," he said.
Mr Goyder said Wesfarmers would have a clearer picture on the effect of the floods on its business in a few weeks when it delivered its profit results.
By Kylie Williams