Viral posts mistakenly exaggerate the carrot prices in Japan

Insight International

දිනපතා සත්‍ය කරුණු දැන ගැනීමට අපගේ WhatsApp සමුහයටමෙතනින් එකතුවන්න.

In mid-January, a significant surge was seen in vegetable prices in Sri Lanka. This spike in vegetable prices has contributed to a broader increase in the overall cost of living, making it challenging for many to afford basic necessities. 

Even though vegetable prices have dropped slightly since then, as the prices continued to be higher than in many countries, several online discussions have compared the prices of certain vegetable prices against those of foreign nations.

Let’s have a look at one such viral post.

Social Media Posts 

A viral image suggests that the price of one kilo of carrots in Japan is around Rs.350, while the daily wage of a general labourer in Japan is around 21,000 LKR. 

Facebook| Archived  FB

Users commented on it like below.

Many others also shared these images, and some inquired about the veracity of the claims made in these images.

We decided to do a fact-check on this.

Fact Check 

First, we carefully examined the details of the viral image. There was no mention of the dates or weight of the carrot pack labels. However, the price tags of the label suggest that one pack with three larger carrots is priced at 180 Yen (around 378 LKR) while the pack, which appears to contain a variety of around ten smaller carrots, is priced at 150 Yen. (around 315 LKR)

Further, searches yielded the initial posts containing these carrot packs, as seen here Archived was initially posted by Patrick Ratnayake, a senior professor at the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, currently staying in Tokyo, Japan. 

As per the description provided by the professor, the first image (not seen in the viral post) is priced around 340 LKR per kilogram. The two types of organed coloured carrots seen in the viral post are priced at 388 & 323 LKR for 500 grams, respectively, amounting to around 776 & 646 LKR respectively for one kilo of carrots. Hence, the viral post generalising the price of one kilo of carrot to be around 350 LKR in late January is misleading.

Reliable Source Also Indicate One kilo of carrot in Japan is NOT around Rs.350

According to reliable sources, the retail price of one kilo of carrot in Japan is approximately 400 Yen. The current exchange rate (Feb 2nd) translates to around 850 Rupees (LKR), not Rs.350, as claimed in the social media posts. The details can be read on the CEIC web. CEIC has been a trusted partner to help navigate the world of macroeconomic data. The details can be read here. Archived 

As per Selina Wamuchi website, who offer in-depth price analysis data for the world’s agricultural markets, providing valuable insights for stakeholders, a kilo of carrot price ranges from 3.73 USD to 6. 05 USD in Japan. This also suggested that a kilo of carrots’ minimum retail price is over a thousand Rupees LKR.

To further verify the carrot prices seen in the viral image, we contacted the relevant Tanaka Vegetable farm in Japan and will update the article accordingly.

After the carrot prices skyrocketed in mid-January, they fell gradually towards the end of January and in early February 2024, the retail prices for one kilo of carrots in Sri Lanka fluctuated between 1200 and 1600 LKR as per the data taken from various supermarket chains. Some such market prices can be reached here, here and here. Archived 

However, despite this slight price dip, it’s important to note that vegetable prices in Sri Lanka are relatively high compared to those in regional countries.

The daily wage of a general labourer in Japan 

Based on information from Paylab, a reliable web source for getting details about the salaries of various countries, the maximum salary for a general labourer in Japan is around 340K JPY per month and averages between 200K- 300K JPY. Converting this to Sri Lankan Rupees, the average salary is approximately 420K – 631K LKR. The details about it can be read here Archived   As Saturdays and Sundays are generally day off in Japan, if we imagine a labor usually work for twenty days per month, the average daily wage is around 21,000 – 31,000 LKR.

In December 2023, the minimum hourly wage for a worker was increased up to 1002 JPY per hour. If we imagine 8 hours of work per day, the wage should be 8016 Yen and 16,860 LKR. Details about it can be read here

 Follow us and stay up to date with our latest fact checks.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Google News | TikTok | WhatsApp


Title:Viral posts mistakenly exaggerate the carrot prices in Japan

Written By: Kalana Krishantha 

Result: Insight

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *