Xuhui District Steadies Vegetable Prices and Supply

(11-08-2017)

Steady vegetable prices and supply despite of climbing temperature. Photo taken by Lu Xiang

 

Shanghai issued the 17th orange alert for high temperature on Jul 28 after 3 days’ red alerts for high temperature in the last half month. The weather has been scorching after the raining season ended, with unbearably combing high temperature. Vegetable prices tended to hike in such hot seasons in the past. How about this year?

 

A large number of residents were shopping at Jialing Market at 4: pm on Jul.26, according to reporters. Vegetable prices were close to those in early Jul.: Green stem Chinese cabbages, cabbages and cucumbers are priced at RMB 3.5, RMB 2.5 and RMB 2 per 500 g respectively. Li Ruifang, a mushroom seller, told the reporters, “Mushroom prices are roughly the same with June’s level.  Peak business hours are in the morning, and we offer discounts for some mushrooms in the afternoon.” Attracted by a sign reading “Pleurotus geesteranus: RMB 2 per box, RMB 3 for 2 boxes; oyster mushroom: RMB 4 per box”, People stopped at Li’s stall from time to time and picked up some packaged mushrooms. “We have been gathering info in community markets and wholesale markets to learn about retail and wholesale prices of vegetables, so that we could develop recommended prices for sellers. That’s why prices of vegetable and other products in our Market are more competitive than those in other community markets, and residents in other districts travel a long way (couple of hours) to shop here despite high temperature in July,”  Zhang Lixin, manager of Jialing Market, told reporters.

 

“Apart from Jialing Market, other markets under Mingyan Group have price monitoring mechanisms. Vegetable prices across our markets are steady, without obvious volatility,” Gong Hao, deputy general manager of Shanghai Mingyan Enterprise Management Group Co., Ltd. “In addition to price monitoring, the Company also has contingency preplans. In the event of short supply and high prices, the Company will deploy vegetables from bases in Shandong and Chongming and curb price hikes by providing subsidies and free rental to tenants. Moreover, as an initiative against the scorching weather, the Company has invested over RMB 100,000 to install spray cooling devices in Jialing Market. Those devices will help lower the temperature after available for use in early August. Other markets with high traffics will also have such devices installed,” Gong added.

 

Due to successive days of high temperature, cold preservation and transportation costs for fresh-water fishes were on the increase, which added to rising wholesale prices, according to reporters visiting Longnan Market. However, prices of locally-bred aquatic shrimps such as greasy-back shrimps and freshwater shrimps are not very expensive, averaging at RMB 27 per 500 g, slightly lower than prior to the high temperature period.

 

Xuhui District has taken paralleled measures to “steady vegetable prices and supply” during the high temperature period, according to sources from District Commerce Committee. Apart from contingency funds allocated to markets for price control, transfer payment, rental discount, subsidies to market managers, etc. the District also gathers prices of 20 vegetables at 5 monitoring spots, while markets disclose the average prices in the District as required by the industry association, which drive prices in each market closer to the average. Moreover, the District Commerce Committee also facilitate traditional markets in standardized development, management optimization, reducing intermediate processes and lowering purchase costs by partnering with planting base in Shandong, Jiaxing, etc.