China to release more pork reserves onto market to curb soaring prices

09:05, July 16, 2011      

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The Chinese government will release more pork reserves onto the market when necessary to ease rising prices amid escalating inflation woes, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Friday.

Pork prices have increased 38 percent from the beginning of the year in 36 major Chinese cities. In early July, the prices rose 17 percent from a year ago, MOC data show.

Higher feedstuff prices, labor costs and lower pig numbers due to cheap pork prices over the past two years had caused a dramatic increase in pork prices this year, Yao Jian, spokesman of the MOC, said at a press conference.

To replenish supply, the northeastern Liaoning Province had begun to increase the supply of frozen pork from reserves since June. Another 10 provinces had already been doing so, Yao said.

China's central government had about 200,000 tonnes of pork reserves. More will be released onto the market, he noted.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI), the main gauge of inflation, jumped to 6.4 percent in June, the highest level since June 2008 and well above the government's target of 4 percent for this year. The price of pork has become a major driver for rising consumer prices.

"Stabilizing prices remains the top priority for our macro-regulatory policies," Premier Wen Jiabao said early this week.

The central government on Wednesday announced a new fiscal support policy that will increase the supply of live pigs including an investment of 2.5 billion yuan (384 million U.S. dollars) in large-scale pig farms this year. Farmers will get more subsidies for raising pigs.

Source: Xinhua
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