Vegetable prices to increase by 50%

Ping Wei, TAIPEI, Taiwan, Special to The China Post

Besides bringing about continuous rain and mudslides, Typhoon Mindulle has also caused much damage to crops, thereby causing hypermarkets to increase vegetable prices by 30 to 50 percent.

Vegetables previously valued at around NT$15 to NT$20 are estimated to increase to around NT$35. Starting today, a cabbage may cost more than NT$90.

The Council of Agriculture (COA) estimated damage to crops and infrastructures to be around NT$530 million. Further, the council said, fruit farms suffer losses of around NT$378 million. The typhoon has also left several thousand poultry dead.

RT-Mart Marketing manager Fiona Wang said yesterday, 250 grams of water spinach and Chinese cabbage were sold for around NT$10 to NT$12. However, prices have already risen today and will continue to fluctuate daily over the next few weeks in response to vegetable shortage, adds Wang.

Carrefour also expressed that their vegetable prices have already been slightly marked up. Since stocks are being directly delivered from production sites though, there will be an adequate amount of supply and relatively less price fluctuations.

Besides vegetable damages, fruits such as melons, bananas, papayas and mangoes were also damaged by the typhoon. As a result, fruit prices are also expected to increase and fluctuate over the next few weeks.

Although prices are increasingly now, hypermarkets estimated that in about a month vegetable and fruit prices should fall back to normal as crop production increases replacing currently damaged ones.