Vegie prices are going up...no surprise, really

Good morning everyone,

The heat wave continues to melt...well, everything in Japan. Keep cool and don't go out unless you have to. We may see some rain on the weekend depending on what the typhoon headed for Kanto does. It may turn left and head for us, or it may turn right...it's too early to say, but it's worth keeping an eye on. And after it passes, we'll see sun and daytime highs back in the mid 30s, so no break yet from the heat.

Vegetable prices in Japan are spiking as much as 65 percent in the grip of a gruelling heat wave, which drove temperatures on Wednesday to records in some areas hit by flooding and landslides, hampering clean-up and recovery efforts. An agriculture ministry official in Tokyo, the capital, warned against "pretty severe price moves" for vegetables if predictions of more weeks of hot weather held up, resulting in less rain than usual. "It's up to the weather how prices will move from here," the official said. "But the Japan Meteorological Agency has predicted it will remain hot for a few more weeks, and that we will have less rain than the average."

The most recent data showed the wholesale price of cabbage was 129 yen per kg in Tokyo on Monday, the ministry said, for example, an increase of 65 percent over the average late-July price of the past five years.

Temperatures in Japan's western cities of Yamaguchi and Akiotacho reached record highs of 38.8 Celsius and 38.6 C, respectively, on Wednesday afternoon. In Takahashi, another western city and one of the areas hit hardest by this month's flooding, the mercury reached 38.7C, just 0.3 degrees off an all-time high.

On the Tokyo stock market, shares in companies expected to benefit from a hot summer, such as ice-cream makers, have risen in recent trade. Shares in Imuraya Group, whose subsidiary sells popular vanilla and red-bean ice cream, were up nearly 10 percent on the month, while Ishigaki Foods, which sells barley tea, surged 50 percent over the same period.

Damn! I should have bought stocks in Japanese beer, ice cream and air conditioning companies in the spring...Ahhh...next year!

Have a great day!

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