Typhoon hits China’s vegetable export hub, may push up global prices

By Song Lin Source:Global Times Published: 2019/8/11 20:38:40

Policemen transfer the flood-stranded people in Putuo scenic area of Zhoushan City, east China's Zhejiang Province on August 10. Typhoon Lekima, the ninth of the year, made landfall on Saturday in Wenling City. Rescue and clean-up works were carried out in all parts of Zhejiang Province. (Photo by Zou Xunyong/Xinhua)

The city of Shouguang in East China's Shandong Province has been left in ruins by torrential rain bought by Typhoon Lekima. Since it is an important vegetable producing and exporting hub in China, experts warned that the disaster may push up vegetable prices in the global market.

A local resident sent the Global Times a video on Sunday showing that some of the vegetable greenhouses of her family had been submerged in water. They have abandoned the greenhouses and evacuated to a safe area.

One vegetable greenhouse costs 300,000 ($42,500) to 400,000 yuan, and many of them were financed with loans, according to the resident. 

Last year, Shouguang was hit by the most severe flood in over 40 years and many of the greenhouses were built on government loans after the flood.

Hong Tao, an expert on market regulation of the Ministry of Commerce, told the Global Times that the disaster in Shouguang may drive up world vegetable prices.

"Countries including Russia, Japan and South Korea are major importers of vegetables from Shouguang," Hong said, adding that China has long been a key vegetable exporter in the world with more than $7 billion in exports in 2018.

Cuiling West county in Shouguang has 1,105 mu (74 hectares) of vegetable greenhouses and exports more than 15,000 tons of vegetables to Russia valued at 100 million yuan every year, jiemian.com reported.

Wang Pan, a merchandising manager of a Qingdao-based foreign trade corporation called Lianqiao Group, told the Global Times on Sunday that some of their suppliers' plants in the province have been submerged and production has been suspended. 

She did not disclose how much of a loss the company faces.

According to a report from the Xinhua News Agency on Sunday, direct economic losses caused by the typhoon have reached 15.75 billion yuan in East China's Zhejiang Province.

An update by the People's Daily showed that at least 32 people were dead, 16 remained missing, and more than 5 million people had been affected as of Sunday afternoon in Zhejiang Province after Typhoon Lekima made landfall in the area.

Lekima was moving north at a speed of 25 to 30 kilometers per hour, and it was forecast to hit the coast of Shandong Province by nightfall on Sunday, the National Meteorological Center warned.

Forecasters have issued 55 rainstorm red alerts in Shandong related to the typhoon.


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