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Guangzhou Vegetable Prices Hit Record High

Never before has the price of vegetables been so high in Guangzhou.

According to the Guangzhou Shopping Basket Pricing Centre, choy sum, or flowering Chinese cabbage, a popular vegetable in south China, is selling for 12 yuan (US$1.48) per kilogram compared to its price of about 3.5 yuan (43 US cents) in early May. The price of romaine lettuce is currently 6 yuan (74 US cents) per kilogram compared to about 3 yuan (37 US cents) early in May.

The average price of vegetables currently stands at 6 yuan (74 US cents) per kilogram in Guangzhou, while it was 3.48 yuan (43 US cents) in early May.

Sun Guoxiang, director of the centre, said that vegetable prices at the moment are even higher than they were 12 years ago when Guangdong Province was suffering from a serious drought.

He said that the highest price recorded for choy sum in Guangzhou was 11.6 yuan (US$1.43) per kilogram in 1994.

Sun said that the heavy rain in May and in the first half of this month is to blame. "The heavy rain flooded many vegetable fields in Guangzhou and in other regions of Guangdong Province, ending in a serious shortage of supply," he said.

"The (average) vegetable price is inching down as a whole in Guangzhou," he said. "But it will take another 20 to 30 days for the price to come back to normal again."

The high price of vegetables has had an impact on the daily lives of many Guangzhou citizens.

"The price is so high that many people have reduced their vegetable purchases," said Mo Hangjing, a middle-aged vegetable seller at a grocery market in the city's Tianhe District. "I don't earn as much as usual these days."

For Mai Jieying, a restaurant owner in the district, the rise in the price of vegetables is eating into her profit.

(China Daily June 24, 2006)

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