The cucumber was the “villain” in the official inflation released this Thursday (9). The product topped the list of items that increased the most in price in the year, with a 78.51% increase, more than gasoline and ethanol.
It also had the fourth biggest increase in the agricultural ranking in the monthly data, which compares the price of August with July, having an increase of 23.09%, according to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).
The increase in the price of vegetables is also a consequence of frosts, which destroyed crops in various parts of the country between July and August this year.
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After all, why was the cucumber the most expensive?
Cucumber was not the only agricultural product to stand out in annual inflation, zucchini had the second highest increase, being 72.90% more expensive.
Both are part of the cucurbit family and, in general, need higher temperatures to develop, explains the professor of the Vegetal Production department at the “Luiz de Queiroz” School of Agriculture (Esalq) and Coordinator of the group of studies and practices in horticulture (GEPOL), Simone da Costa Mello.
The large drops in temperature, therefore, brought down the production of the vegetable. The teacher also says that even cultivation in greenhouses, when not heated, is hampered by the climate, as the cold also affects the place.
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One of the main vegetable producing states, in fact, is São Paulo, which was heavily hit by frost.
To minimize the consequences of this problem, farmers opted for early harvesting of cucumbers that were maturing. However, these stocks have already run out, which also helps to raise the price, informs the Companhia de Entrepostos e Armazéns Gerais de São Paulo (Ceagesp).
According to the entity, the largest volume of common cucumber traded in August came from the state of Rio de Janeiro, with 1,023 tonnes, followed by São Paulo, with 321 tonnes, Ceará (146 tonnes) and Bahia (143 tonnes). These last two states were the ones that supplied the smallest production in São Paulo.
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According to Ceagesp, farmers expect that, if there is enough rain, the harvest can take place from 40 days, when prices will start to fall.