Extended Rainfall Pushes Up Vegetable Prices in Japan

Economy

Tokyo, Aug. 26 (Jiji Press)--Prices of vegetables such as cucumbers, leeks, and lettuce are rising in Japan as protracted rainfall and a lack of sunshine nationwide affected their growth and shipments.

Cucumbers and lettuce are susceptible to rain. The impact of the long rainfall has not been fully factored into prices, and there is room for further price increases, which could hurt households, sources said.

The price of cucumbers grown in Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, jumped 2.1-fold from the previous week to 381 yen per kilogram at the Tokyo central wholesale market Aug. 13-19. The prices of leeks from the eastern prefecture of Ibaraki and lettuce from the central prefecture of Nagano rose by 1.9-fold to 356 yen and by 1.8-fold to 234 yen, respectively.

Retail prices also went up across the country, with cucumbers selling at 557 yen per kilogram Aug. 16-18, up 21 pct from a week before, leeks 422 yen, up 6 pct, and lettuce 764 yen, up 2 pct, according to the agriculture ministry.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, temperatures in Japan will be average or higher in the next two weeks. An agriculture ministry official predicted that vegetable prices will fall to levels before the recent surge if the weather stabilizes.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press