Regarding the October consumer price index, made public by Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics of Executive Yuan, which increased by 5.34% over the same period last year, and whose rise is mainly attributed to a surge of the prices of vegetables and fruits, the Council of Agriculture made the explanation as follows: Typhoons used to strike Taiwan at the turn of the seasons of autumn and winter, and it is quite rare for typhoons to strike in October. However, this year, typhoons struck for three consecutive months, namely August, September and October, which disturbed the second-season growth to a great extent, especially after Typhoon Krosa hit Taiwan on October 6, agriculture suffered damages amounting to nearly 4.3 billion NT dollars. Besides, the extents to which agriculture was damaged and the hard-hit areas sprawled this year see few comparisons in recent years, and led to a short-term shortage of the supply of vegetables and fruits, which, in its turn, triggered a surge of their prices.
COA indicated that, after the devastation of typhoons, it set out to make an all-out effort to encourage the short-term second-season growth of leafy vegetables. For the present, the second-season vegetables have hit the market, which served to stabilized the prices of vegetables to come to an average of 30 NTD or so per kilo. As for fruits, since most of them pertain to the single-yield-per-year category of seasonal produce, the supply of some fruits went down in the wake of the typhoon. However, due to the high replaceability among different species, consumers are advised to choose seasonal fruits in great abundance like ponkans and oranges.
COA made it clear that, although the rice price has seen a slight fluctuation in the wake of the typhoon, it is nothing more than a proper reflection of the damages and, according to investigation, it is equal to that of the same period over the last three years. COA went on to point out that rice is the staple of our diet and it is critical to providing stability for the society and people’s daily lives. COA is determined and able to stabilize rice price; it will timely release state-owned in-stock rice to lower the price if the price climbs up to an unreasonable level, after weighing the cost of rice production and, at the same time, taking care of consumers’ rights.