Typhoon sends food prices soaring in China


The deadly Typhoon Usagi which left a trail of devastation through China in September added to the country’s inflation headaches as the cost of fresh vegetables  is soaring, official figures showed yesterday.

Inflation in China hit a seven-month high of 3.1 per cent last month – up from 2.6 per cent the previous month – giving Beijing less leeway to keep the world’s second-biggest economy on a steady growth path despite sliding exports.

China’s exports dropped 0.3 per cent in September compared with last year, short of expectations of 0.6 per cent growth. The inflation rise was largely driven by a 6.1 per cent rise in food prices, as a combination of floods caused by the typhoon which swept through southern China and droughts elsewhere in the country pushed up the cost of fresh vegetables by an eye-watering 18.9 per cent ahead of last year.

Food has a huge influence on the Chinese economy because it accounts for nearly a third of the country’s inflation basket.

China’s overall growth slowed to 7.5 per cent in the second quarter, putting the nation on course for its slowest growth for more than 20 years.