Vegetable prices up 15% as Typhoon Meranti nears

Vegetable prices up 15% as Typhoon Meranti nears

Taipei, Sept. 13 (CNA) Vegetable prices in the local wholesale market rose about 15 percent on Tuesday from a day earlier as Typhoon Meranti approaches, according to sources from the Taipei Fruit and Vegetable Market.

In the wholesale market in Taipei, the benchmark fruit and vegetable marketplace in Taiwan, the average price of vegetables rose to NT$37.7 (US$1.19) per kilogram on Tuesday from the NT$32.8 per kilogram seen on Monday, the sources said.

The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) issued a land warning for Typhoon Meranti on Tuesday morning, following a sea warning issued late Monday.

As of 10:15 a.m. Tuesday, Meranti was located 500 kilometers east-southeast of Eluanbi, the southernmost tip of Taiwan, moving at a speed of 22 kilometers per hour in a west-northwesterly direction toward Taiwan, according to the CWB's data.

With a radius of 200 kilometers, the typhoon was carrying maximum sustained winds of 209 kph, with gusts of up to 263 kph, the bureau said.

While it remains to be seen whether the typhoon will make landfall in southern Taiwan, the CWB has warned the storm will impose a strong impact on the island, most visible on Wednesday and Thursday.

The warning has prompted many consumers to rush to traditional markets to buy foods, in particular vegetables amid fears that vegetable prices will continue to rise even before the Typhoon comes closer and hits the country.

The move by consumers to scramble to markets to pick up vegetables has boosted prices in the local market, the sources said. They said that the average retail price of cabbage which is the most consumed vegetable in Taiwan, hit around NT$58 per kilogram on Tuesday and consumers will have to spend about NT$100 for a cabbage in a retail market.

Other leafy vegetables have also become more expensive in traditional markets in Taiwan, the sources said, adding that a bunch of asparagus hit NT$30 on Tuesday, up from about NT$20 earlier.

But the sources said that some other vegetables such as spinach appeared relatively cheap at the moment with a price of about NT$25 per bunch. The sources suggest that housewives buy fruits like pearl guava, starfruit and even pomelo which are relatively affordable for the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival holiday. (By Yang Shu-min and Frances Huang)

Updated : 2021-04-15 00:38 GMT+08:00