Ministry says to ensure necessities' supply to stabilize prices

22:15, February 17, 2011      

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China's Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Thursday that it would take measures to ensure supply of daily necessities that have been threatened by rising global commodity prices and a lingering drought.

MOC officials made the remarks at a routine press conference, adding that as the temperature began to rise and most retailers return to work after the week-long Chinese Spring Festival holiday, vegetable prices will fall and remain stable.

In the week ending February 13, farm produce prices in China declined slightly for the first time this year, with the wholesale prices of 18 staple vegetables down 4.3 percent, according to MOC figures released on Thursday.

The ministry said that it would come up with an emergency response plan to stabilize the supply of necessities such as vegetables, dairy products and refined oil products in 2011.

The ministry would also step up efforts to improve the links between production and sales, it said.

Furthermore, the MOC will work closely with major enterprises and about 1,600 suppliers and producers to help with the situation, it added.

The MOC noted that it would keep abundant reserves of meat, sugar and vegetables in case of supply shortages.

Also, it will work to further improve reserve supplies in major cities. The ministry had designated 330 emergency commodities distribution centers and 3,100 emergency supply outlets in the country, the ministry said.

As of February 13, the winter drought had affected 108.24 million mu (7.22 million hectares) of wheat crops in the eight provinces of Hebei, Shanxi, Jiangsu, Anhui, Shandong, Henan, Shaanxi and Gansu, the Ministry of Agriculture said. Of the total, about 23.9 million mu were severely affected.

Source: Xinhua
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