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Beijing fisheries traders join hands in curbing CPI rises ahead of Olympics
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08:50, April 19, 2008

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Over 500 fisheries traders in Beijing agreed on Friday to give up profits on sales from now until June in a bid to help rein in soaring food prices.

The Fisheries Trade Association under the Beijing Federation of Industry and Commerce was inaugurated here on Friday, and made the commitment of discounts in prices among its 500 member firms.

Hao Huanqiang, general secretary of the association said that its member companies agreed to join in the action of supplying the Beijing market with 3,000 tonnes of aquatic products and 3,000 tonnes of meat products at cost prices by the end of June.

"This will cost us 200 million yuan (29 million U.S. dollars) in profits," said Hao.

"Though the association's power in reining in soaring food prices is limited, we can play a unique role in the effort, which would, in effect, help avoid a price war among suppliers," said Xu Heyan, chairman of the association.

China's CPI, a key measure of inflation, was up 8.3 percent in March, following an 8.7 percent rise in the previous month, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

The price index of food grew much faster than other categories of consumer products, which ballooned by 12.3 percent in March, compared with the growth rates of 2 percent for garments and 3.8 percent for daily commodities.

According to the association's market survey, the amount of low-price aquatic and meat products would guarantee a stable market through June to the end of the Olympic Games in September.

All of Beijing's 300 Olympics-related dining halls will be supplied by members with the association, said Xu, adding that the association has ordered 200 new vehicles for the transportation of frozen cargo to the Olympic-related restaurants.

In the next step, the association will sponsor in a process supervision program to make spot checks of aquatic farms and monitor the processing and transportation links of the product supply, said Xu.

Source: Xinhua

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