Schools May Be Forced to Raise Lunch Prices 原物料飆漲 影響雙北學童營養午餐價格

C. Chuang
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The Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics published price induh-cees for February. The CPI decreased somewhat, although the prices of vegetables, meat, seafood, and eggs all rose. Some schools in the greater Taipei area may be forced to increase the lunch price due to soaring commodity prices.

It's lunchtime at this elementary school. Schools in the greater Taipei area are facing difficulties in providing nutritious lunches to their students in light of soaring commodity prices. Some have surveyed parents about possible price increases.

Kuo Wen-cheng, Academic Affairs Director, Taipei Bo Ai Elem. School: “We'll be inviting bids again in July, so we have to conduct a survey. Adjustments will only be made after we reach an agreement on a percentage.”

Chen Ming-hsin, Chairperson, Boxed Lunch Association: “The entire world is helpless against the inflation from the pandemic and the Ukraine-Russia war. The information that I currently have is that schools in all cities and counties want to adjust their lunch prices.”

The Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics published the Price Indices for February on March 7. The CPI increased 2.43 percent compared with the same month last year. Although the CPI decreased compared to the preceding month, the prices of tomatoes and foreign travel expenses increased by over 25 percent. The prices of cabbage and salmon grew by over 20 percent, while the price of eggs grew by 11 percent. There is a very high chance that the electricity price deliberation committee will decide on a price increase when it meets at the end of the month, which will in turn cause the CPI to increase in May.

Tsao Chih-hung, Senior Specialist, Dept. of Statistics, DGBAS: “The CPI grew by 2.61 percent in the first quarter this year, and should be around 2 percent in the second, third, and fourth quarters, but electricity price adjustments haven't been included yet.”

The Ministry of Finance also released its summary of exports and imports for February. Total exports contracted 17.1 percent year-on-year to US$31.05 billion, and amounted to US$62.56 billion in the January-February period, which was nearly 20 percent lower than the same period last year. The length of time with negative growth now stands at six months and the length of time with a double-digit decline now stands at four months.

Tsai Mei-na, Director, Department of Statistics, MOF: “In the five major trading partners, the highest decline was seen for Mainland China and Hong Kong, at over 30 percent. This is primarily a reflection of the slackening of the global electronics industry as well as the slower recovery of domestic demand in China, which are causing our exports to there to decline by nearly one-third.”

The MOF said end demand is sluggish and the growth momentum of the global economy is weakening. Industrial chains continue to adjust inventories, which stifles the willingness of manufacturers to prepare materials. The total value of imports in February was US$28.7 billion, the lowest value in 24 months.