Thai vegetable prices rise ahead of Vegetarian Festival

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BANGKOK, Oct 11 – Vegetable prices have risen nationwide across Thailand prior to the annual Vegetarian Festival.

Set to start October 14, the festival 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 kilogramme, 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 doubled 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 per cent.

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

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

The UTTC projected that more than Bt37 billion will be spent during this year’s festival, a 7.6 per cent increase from last year. Each person’s spending is about 8,154 baht on average

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