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Vegetables More Expensive than Meat? We Went to a Wet Market

By WANG, XIAOYANYILING WANGALEX REPORTERFYICHONGQING|Nov 11,2021

Chongqing- Vegetable prices have increased in China in recent weeks, with prices of leafy greens, in particular, seeing an obvious increase with no exception of Chongqing Municipality in the southwest. 

Some local citizens have complained that “vegetables are more expensive than meat”, while normally, meat like pork, beef, and chicken is more expensive than vegetables in China. iChongqing reporters visited the Chongqing Lianglu Wet Market, trying to figure out the reasons behind the rising prices and whether there is a food shortage. 

On 9th Nov., iChongqing reporters went to Chongqing Lianglu Farmers’ Market. (iChongqing/ Alex Reporterfy)

Slightly increased food prices 

Chongqing Lianglu Wet Market is located in Yubei District Chongqing,  serving as a large market with a comprehensive variety of vegetables and meat. Many people come to buy due to its abundant supplies.

“The price of vegetables has risen slightly,” said a group of consumers in the market. “Previously, cabbages were 1.5 yuan, but now they have risen to 3 or 4 yuan.”

“Vegetable prices have indeed risen a bit over the last month,” said farmers at Lianglu Wet Market. “I think it is because as the weather is getting colder, the supply remains insufficient.”

Meanwhile, according to a meat booth owner, the price of meat has not changed in a dramatic way. “It has risen slightly from a month ago, but with only one yuan,” he said.

The local merchant told the iChongqing reporter that the price of meat is relatively stable. (iChongqing/ Alex Reporterfy)

Heavy rain is the main reason

According to the relevant person in the Chongqing Municipal Commission of Commerce, due to heavy rain this year, the production of some vegetables has decreased.

Hot weather appeared in areas of Chongqing in late September, while some vegetables have not yet been planted due to its high temperature, including vegetables such as loofahs, where the full sun, and a well-drained and moist soil are needed.

Meanwhile, the temperature dropped dramatically after October, and the ripening period of some vegetables has been extended due to the heavy rain. Upon its onset, it only took about a few days before the vegetable was considered inedible, bringing losses to farmers and consumers alike.

It is expected that the vegetable price will remain a little high before the autumn and winter vegetables are launched in large quantities, said the relevant person in the Chongqing Municipal Commission of Commerce.

“It is only a short-term contradiction that the unfavorable weather leads to vegetable stalls,” said the relevant person in the Chongqing Municipal Committee of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

He observed that the biggest price fluctuations this time were mainly leafy vegetables, which grow fast. Vegetable prices are expected to gradually fall as vegetables from Sichuan, Guangdong, Hainan, Yunnan, and other places arrive.

Furthermore, due to the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, transportation and labor costs also rise a little.

Vegetables such as broccoli and peppers were transported from Gansu to Chongqing. The traffic control caused by the recent COVID-19 epidemic in Lanzhou and Chongqing, the difficulty in mobilizing vehicles, and the increase in gas prices have further increased its circulation costs.

Sufficient supply of fresh vegetables 

The price of vegetables has indeed risen from a month ago, while the supply of vegetables and meat on the shelves remains abundant and fresh. Merchants also said that the supply of vegetables is relatively sufficient during the interviews in the wet market.

According to the relevant person in the Chongqing Municipal Committee of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, at present, the Committee has dispatched a technical guidance team to various districts and counties to provide vegetable technical guidance, encourage farmers to plant healthy leafy vegetables, and replenish the market as soon as possible.

Chongqing Lianglu Farmers’ Market. (iChongqing/ Alex Reporterfy)

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