Mon, Sep 16, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Rain, food prices may dampen Mid-Autumn Festival

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

People planning to enjoy a Mid-Autumn Festival barbecue may need to prepare a back-up venue as the chance of rain will be high over the four-day holiday.

A large low pressure system in the Pacific Ocean could turn into a tropical storm this week and move west toward Taiwan, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said, adding that the weather would be unstable over the four days.

On Thursday, chances of showers will be high in the northern and northeastern regions, with regional showers seen in some parts of the nation.

Friday and Saturday brings weather increasingly likely to be under the influence of a tropical storm, with the chances of showers high nationwide, the bureau said, adding temperatures could reach highs of 28°C to 30°C.

The bureau said the weather could still change over the next few days.

The weather may not be the only thing casting its shadow over the holiday. Retail vegetable prices, on average, rose by more than 50 percent year-on-year. The price for white shrimp, a popular choice for grilling, is almost six times higher than last year.

The Agriculture and Food Agency said that the nation’s main farmlands were damaged by two consecutive tropical storms last month. Farmers have begun to harvest the vegetables planted after the disasters, the agency said, adding the average retail price for vegetables could drop below NT$40 per kilogram before the holiday begins, providing some last-minute relief to festival shoppers.

“Despite the rise in the price of vegetables, the price for different types of mushrooms, another popular food for the grill, are quite stable this year,” the agency said.

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