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Price of edible oil drops again
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08:37, April 10, 2008

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The price of edible oil declined for the second week in a row last week on expectations of a stable supply as the government's macro control policies take effect.

According to data released by the Ministry of Commerce yesterday, the price of edible oil fell 0.2 percent from the period of March 31 to April 6 compared with the price at the close of the previous week. The price of soy oil is down 30 percent from its peak price in early March.

In a bid to curb inflation, which has been driven by high food prices, the government has been trying to contain the price of edible oil by releasing stocks from the State reserve and putting price restrictions on some oil products. The government has also been working to increase supply by giving more subsidies to producers.

Analysts said these efforts have paid off.

At the same, the price of soy has fallen on the global market, which has contributed to the price decline.

The price of oil is expected to remain stable as the supply increases when the rapeseed harvest is brought to market next month, Wang Xiaoyu, an oil expert, said.

An official from the Ministry of Agriculture said the oil supply will remain stable this year, despite the damage sustained by the rapeseed crop during the heavy snowfalls earlier this year.

About 40 percent of the rapeseed crop in southern China was affected by the snowstorm, Zeng Lingqing, an official in charge of oil products with the ministry, said.

"The output in provinces hit by the storm may decline by 10 percent, but the total output is expected to remain at the same level as in 2007," he said.

Rapeseed, soy and peanut are the major oil products in China.

Zeng said farmers in the northeastern part of China, where 60 percent of the country's soy is produced, are willing to plant more soybeans this year since the cost is low and the price of soy oil is expected to be high.

The government is making an "unprecedented effort" to ensure that the oil supply remains stable, he said.

The country's edible oil output has shrunk since 2000 as the prices of rapeseed and soy have hovered at low levels, prompting many farmers to plant more lucrative crops.

Source:China Daily

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