China fruit, vegetable prices surge as blizzards cut off roads, damage crops

People walk in the snow in Fuyang, Anhui province, China on Jan 4. Snowstorms have hit most part of China, causing trains and flights cancellations and suspending classes.
People walk in the snow in Fuyang, Anhui province, China on Jan 4. Snowstorms have hit most part of China, causing trains and flights cancellations and suspending classes.PHOTO: EPA

BEIJING (REUTERS) - Fruit and vegetable prices in major cities in central and northern China have surged after severe winter weather cut off highways and damaged crops, the government said.

Parts of highways connecting Henan, Shanxi, Shandong, Anhui and Jiangsu provinces were blocked. In northern Shanxi province, greenhouses for vegetables collapsed under the weight of snow, footage on state television showed on Sunday (Jan 7).

"More than 45,000 acres of fruit trees, tea farms as well as greenhouses for vegetable have been damaged by freezing rains and snow," the Ministry of Agriculture said late on Saturday, adding that wheat planting could be delayed due to the cold weather.

The city of Hefei, the capital of Anhui province, will give residents discounts on vegetables for seven days after prices increased, state radio said on Sunday, citing the city's pricing regulator.

State radio said prices of vegetables like cabbages and lettuce more than doubled in the past week in eastern Anhui province due to transport curbs and damage to crops.

China warned of a second wave of snow and sleet hitting northern, central and eastern parts on Friday after record snowfall paralysed parts of the country in the most severe weather this winter.