Vegetable prices soaring, expected to stabilize late October

Vegetable prices in the local wholesale market continued to shoot up Tuesday, rising about 7 percent from a day earlier following persistent rain brought by the outer periphery of Tropical Storm Aere in recent days, according to the Agriculture and Food Agency (AFA) under the Council of Agriculture.

In the Taipei Fruit and Vegetable Market -- the benchmark fruit and vegetable marketplace in Taiwan -- the average price of vegetables rose to NT$54.3 (US$1.72) per kilogram Tuesday from NT$50.7 per kg seen a day earlier, the AFA said.

Constant rainfall over the past few days has badly affected vegetable production and has caused a reduction in supplies by about 2 percent to 1,305 tons Tuesday from the 1,333 tons a day earlier, according to the AFA.

Prices of vegetables and fruit remained on the higher side recently following damage to crops caused by typhoons Meranti and Megi Sept. 14 and 27, respectively, and persistent rainfall over the past few days, the AFA said.

Vegetable prices jumped about 65 percent to NT$50.1 Sept. 29 from NT$30.3 per kg a day earlier after Typhoon Megi, which made landfall in Taiwan Sept. 27, according to the AFA.

The AFA said that it will take time to restore vegetable production, and added that it expects vegetable prices to return to stable levels only by the end of this month.

To maintain stable supplies of vegetables, the AFA has guided farmers' groups to increase imports, with the aim of getting 6,000 tons of vegetables ready for the next 2-3 weeks, and has planned to release 1,695 tons of stockpiled cabbage, Chinese-headed cabbage and root vegetables to the markets.

It is also helping farmers to freeze their produce, which will be delivered to supermarkets around the country, according to the AFA.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel