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Weather conditions trigger ‘temporary’ rise in vegetable prices

By Hana Namrouqa - Feb 15,2017 - Last updated at Feb 15,2017

Consumers shop at a vegetable market in Amman recently. Supply this week has been affected by the cold, rainy weather in the Jordan Valley (Photo by Amjad Ghsoun)

AMMAN — Prices of vegetables increased by 20-70 per cent due to rain and cold weather in the usually-warm Jordan Valley, Jordan Exporters and Producers Association for Fruit and Vegetables said on Wednesday.

The lower supply due to weather conditions and the rising demand for staples such as tomato, cucumber, zucchini and cauliflower, caused prices to increase on the local market, the association’s president, Saadi Abu Hammad, said.

But the increase in prices is “only temporary”, according to Abu Hammad, who noted that as the weather warms up and rain stops in the Jordan Valley, higher quantities of produce will be available on the market.

The price of tomato increased by 70 per cent, cucumber by 20 per cent, while zucchini and cauliflower prices increased by 30 per cent, according to Abu Hammad.

“There is some 60 per cent shortage in supply of vegetables to the local market,” Abu Hammad told The Jordan Times.

He noted that on Wednesday, the central markets received only 900 tonnes of vegetables, whereas they are supplied by 2,000-2,500 tonnes every day.

Cold weather and rain are hampering farmers from picking vegetables, which explains the lower supply to the market, Abu Hammad said, adding that there is also lower production because the season is ending in the southern Jordan Valley and starting in the central parts.

“In addition, some farmers in the southern Jordan Valley are not picking their tomatoes because they are being sold at prices that don’t even cover their production costs,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Consumer Protection Society President Mohammad Obeidat said the society did not receive complaints from consumers.

Obeidat noted that the rising prices of vegetables “will be temporary” due to the weather conditions.

 

Further cold weather and freezing temperatures are forecast until early next week, according to the Jordan Meteorological Department (JMD), which said on its website that rain and snow showers over areas located 900 metres above sea level are forecast for Thursday and Friday morning.

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