Vegetable prices soaring amid scorching heat

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Customers look at vegetables at a store in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo, on Friday.

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Vegetable prices are soaring due to the effects of record-breaking scorching heat.

As of Wednesday, wholesale prices of hakusai Chinese cabbage and cabbage were twice as high as the normal-year levels at the Tokyo metropolitan central wholesale market, reflecting falls in shipments due to the poor growth blamed on the hot temperatures and little rain.

Prices of leafy vegetables in particular are expected to remain high this month, putting burdens on households.

At an outlet of supermarket operator Akidai in Tokyo’s Nerima Ward, hakusai was priced at ¥238 apiece, up threefold from the normal-year level, cabbage at ¥198 apiece, up twofold, and spinach at ¥180 per 200 grams, up 50 percent.

“Hakusai prices are unlikely to drop since demand is expected to increase toward autumn,” Akidai President Hiromichi Akiba said.

Of 14 vegetables with high consumption volumes, such items as hakusai, cabbage, spinach and lettuce are expected to see their wholesale prices remain high in August as shipments will continue to be slow on the back of the extremely hot weather, according to an estimate released by the agriculture ministry on Friday.

Meanwhile, signs of a recovery in shipments are seen.

An official of an agricultural cooperative in Gunma Prefecture, a major production area for cabbage, said that “vegetables are growing better thanks to the rain brought by a typhoon” that hit the nation in late July.

Still, an agriculture ministry official said, “While some vegetables are expected to see their prices fall, prices will continue to be higher for many other items.”Speech

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