• Jiji

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Vegetable prices are surging in the nation due to poor crops, blamed on unfavorable weather conditions such as a long spell of rain and a lack of sunlight.

“If the rainy season ends in early August, vegetable prices would likely stabilize in the second half of the month,” said an official of the Horticultural Crop Division of the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry’s Agricultural Production Bureau.

But prices would remain high depending on weather conditions, continuing to hit households, analysts warned.

At the Tokyo central wholesale market on Monday, wholesale prices stood at ¥321 per kilogram for carrots, up 2.2-fold from levels seen in normal years, at ¥315 for potatoes, up 2.1-fold, at ¥291 for lettuces, up 1.7-fold, and at ¥520 for eggplants, up 1.6-fold.

Carrots traded at the market mainly come from Aomori Prefecture and Hokkaido, potatoes chiefly from Shizuoka Prefecture and lettuces mainly from Nagano Prefecture.

According to data announced by the agriculture ministry on Wednesday, the national average retail price of potatoes sold at supermarkets and other stores between July 20 and 22 came to ¥630 per kilogram, up 61 percent compared with normal years.

The average price of cucumbers stood at ¥672, up 31 percent.

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