Vegetable prices rise ahead of Vegetarian Festival

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Vegetable prices have risen nationwide across Thailand prior to the annual Vegetarian Festival.

The festival, which started October 14, is a boon to market farmers and traders, forcing the prices of fresh vegetables in many areas to increase.

According to the Commerce Ministry, vegetable prices rose significantly higher than the same period last year.

Chinese kale’s wholesale price rose to 70 baht from 15 baht per kilogram, cabbage to 160 baht from 18 baht/kg, and morning glory to 30 baht from 22 baht/kg.

In the northern province of Chiang Mai, farmers sold less produce to fresh markets in many districts because they are waiting for the doubling of prices during the vegetarian festival.

In the northeastern province of Maha Sarakham, vegetable prices rose higher than last year as many areas were hit by flood, destroying produce.

Meanwhile, the University of Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) Economic and Business Forecasting Center projected about Bt38 billion will circulate during the festival and sees a record growth of 7.6 percent. Each person’s spending is about 8,154 baht on average.

Center director Thanawat Polwichai said a survey on festival spending found the number of people joining the vegetarian specialty cuisine festival will rise 28 percent, mostly to make merit, Dr Thanawat said.

Most poll respondents conceded that they must spend more this time around as fruit and vegetable prices are rising.

This year’s festival is expected to be most lively with record high spending.