Fri, Aug 14, 2009 - Page 2 News List

MORAKOT: THE AFTERMATH: Vegetable prices likely to be higher for the next month

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Prices of vegetables in Taipei will rise in the aftermath of Typhoon Morakot and residents may have to pay 20 percent to 40 percent more for vegetables and fruit for the next month, Taipei City’s Market Administration Office said yesterday.

Supplies of vegetables and fruit fell after Typhoon Morakot hit central and southern regions. On Wednesday, 1,065 tonnes of vegetables were delivered, lower than the average 1,200 tonnes, Taipei City’s Department of Economic Development Commissioner Sherman Chen (陳雄文) said.

Prices of vegetables and fruit are expected to rise steadily starting next week after existing stocks have been sold out. The average price soared to NT$32 per kilogram yesterday, up 51.66 percent from NT$21.1 per kilogram during the previous week.

The price of water spinach rose 38.12 percent and sponge cucumber rose 28.66 percent from the previous week, Chen said.

Chen suggested that the public choose root vegetables, such as potato and taro, during the expected period of high prices.

The city government said it would apply to the Council of Agriculture to distribute frozen vegetables and fruit if the quantity delivered daily fell below 850 tonnes, so that prices could be stabilized.

In related news, agricultural losses following Morakot continue to rise. As of yesterday, the council put the figure at NT$10 billion (US$304 million). That is the second-highest loss sustained in the last 19 years — second to the NT$18.5 billion loss caused by Typhoon Herb in 1996, Council of Agriculture Statistics Office Director Cheng Shuo-liang (鄭碩亮) said.

“Pingtung County suffered the most losses with NT$2.5 billion, followed by Kaohsiung County with NT$1.5 billion and Tainan County with NT$1.3 billion,” Cheng said.

Fish stock losses exceeded agricultural losses for the first time, Cheng said.

A total of 6,392 hectares of fish farms were damaged and 1,231 hectares of shallow-sea fish farms were affected, Cheng said.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY MEGGIE LU

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