By The Nation
And that means that Bangkok residents will spend about an estimated Bt13.15 billion during the lunar festivities on vegetables, fruit, meats, palm oil, sauces and other commodities – 3 per cent less than they did at the same time last year.
The centre expects the price of coconuts and rice to increase as well, at the same time people’s purchasing power continues to decline.
Whichai Phochanakij, director-general of the Department of Internal Trade, noted that the drought situation is likely to become even more severe, hiking the price of most agricultural products due to reduced supply.
Rice, pork and vegetables, the production of which requires considerable amounts of water, will be particularly affected, he said.
The department and Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives are considering encouraging farmers to switch to produce that grows fast, such as limes.
The lime supply is expected to decrease but not pose a market shortage, Whichai said. Restaurants will have to buy limes in advance or frozen as the price rises.
An overall drop of 20-30 per cent is predicted for agricultural products, depending on the severity of the drought, while prices could rise by 25-30 per cent.