China's veggie prices up 62.4%

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The prices of 18 staple vegetables rose 62.4 percent in China in the first 10 days of November from a year earlier, said a senior official with the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) in Haikou, capital of south China's Hainan Province.

The average wholesale price of the 18 staple vegetable prices in 36 major cities stood at 3.9 yuan ($0.58) per kilogram in the same period, up 11.3 percent from the beginning of the year, said Wang Bingnan, director of the MOC's Market Operation Department, at a meeting to discuss vegetable supply for this winter and next spring.

The MOC press department confirmed the figures with Xinhua Monday.

Price hikes in North China were higher than those in South China, Wang said.

Several factors contributed to the rises, Wang said.

Abnormal climate events such as spring cold and flooding had cut vegetable output. Increasing costs for oil, pesticides, transport and labor had also contributed to price hikes, Wang said.

Speculation had pushed up prices for produce like garlic and ginger since September last year along with increasing prices of international agricultural commodities.

The wholesale prices of garlic rose 95.8 percent and ginger 89.5 percent in 36 cities in the first 10 days of November year-on-year, Wang said.

The 18 staple vegetables include Chinese cabbages, potatoes and cucumbers.

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