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Talk of the Day -- Produce, pork prices up on low production

2014/04/05 18:59:38

The average wholesale price of fruits in Taiwan has hit a high of NT$47 (US$1.56) per kilogram, up some NT$3 from just days ago and 52 percent from the same period last year, according to Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Co.

Prices for bananas rose to NT$67 per kg Friday, 60 percent more than a year ago, while tomato prices jumped by an even higher 87 percent to NT$75 per kg, the company's website showed.

The following is a summary of an Apple Daily report on the price fluctuation:

The increase is partially due to the strong demand brought about by the three-day Tomb Sweeping Day holiday, when people traditionally head to the tombs of their ancestors to do spring cleaning and make offerings.

But the Council of Agriculture said the main reason behind the rise is drop in production caused by colder weather.

Lower temperatures make fruits, especially bananas, grow more slowly, the council said, estimating that the situation will improve in May when tropical fruits hit the market.

In addition to fruits, consumers can expect rising prices for vegetables and pork. The average wholesale price of vegetables has jumped 20 percent year-on-year to NT$22.1 per kg, while pork prices have surged to NT$82.4 per kg from last week's price of under NT$80.

In late February, domestic pork prices hit a 10-year high after porcine epidemic diarrhea decimated the piglet population of southern Taiwan. The government has since set up a task force to deal with the issue of rising pork prices, but the strong demand has continued to fuel rising prices.

The government projected in February that the consumer price index will grow by 1.07 percent this year, meaning Taiwan is unlikely to suffer pressing inflationary pressure. (April 5, 2014)

(By James Lee)