Vegetable prices have risen since December. Regarding this phenomenon, Tang Ke, director of the Department of Market and Information Technology of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, explained that the production of produce is cyclical and seasonal, so it is normal for prices to fluctuate within a certain range. Since the start of this winter, vegetable prices in China have been rising due to the seasonal effects and rose more sharply in December. As in previous years, the market volume of most vegetables from inland China declines in the winter, while greenhouse vegetables and vegetables from Southern China dominate the market. Costs of production and distribution increase accordingly and vegetable prices usually rise markedly.
In general, the current fluctuation in vegetable prices is in line with previous years. The increases are a little larger year-on-year, mainly due to two periods of rainy and snowy weather in production areas of winter and spring vegetables in an earlier period, which had a temporary effect on cross-regional distribution. In addition, the earlier arrival of the 2020 Spring Festival has led to earlier preparation of the stock, resulting in short-term price rises. The price level is higher than the same period last year, mainly due to the fact that prices of some varieties such as cauliflowers, beans, cucumbers, and zucchini were low during the first half of 2019, leading farmers to plant less and reduce the dedicated acreages. This has resulted in a sharp rise in their market prices and a rise in the overall vegetable price.
Thanks to a winter with normal and slightly warmer than usual weather in 2019, which is favorable for the vegetable production in greenhouses in the north and winter vegetable production in the southern, the overall supply of vegetable production is likely to be secure in the coming weeks. If there is no continuous large-scale disastrous weather before the Spring Festival, vegetable prices are expected to remain stable and may fall steadily after the holiday.