Persistent bad weather in Spain has sent the price of much fresh produce in UK supermarkets soaring.

Heavy rain in the key Spanish growing region of Andalusia has wiped out large swathes of crops, leaving exports in short supply. "They've had four times the rainfall of an average year in the last two months alone," said one leading supplier. "And with the effect of poor exchange rates and the increased cost of shipping, it's really pushed up prices."

Oranges are 25% more expensive than they were a year ago, avocados are up 17%, cauliflowers 12% and cherry tomatoes 10% [The Grocer 33].

Wholesale price rises have been even more dramatic, with cauliflowers 50% more expensive than in March 2009 [Defra].

The supply of strawberries, raspberries, lettuce and other crops has also been severely disrupted. Spanish producers' association Freshuelva estimated the cost of strawberry losses to be 100m, with raspberry losses believed to be 50m. As much as a third of Andalusian citrus crops are also understood to have been lost.

"Heavy rain has damaged the infrastructure of some of the strawberry and other berry farms, such as access paths, fences and some greenhouses," said a spokesman for Foods From Spain. "They have also delayed production, making the harvest of the first fruits more difficult."

Leafy salads such as lettuce and spinach had been significantly hit, according to Pancho Gonzales, business quality manager for Langmeads. "Romaine was very short a few weeks ago and icebergs are very expensive. We were the only ones selling spinach." Growers were having to spend more on crop protection and fertiliser to reduce losses, he said.

The UK depends on Spain for a large range of fruit and vegetables outside of the British season and imports more than £20bn of goods every year. Prices are likely to remain high until domestic crops start to come into season over the next three months.