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Egg prices, after pork, see a significant rise in July

(Global Times)

11:08, August 15, 2011

After pork prices, it is now egg prices that have seen a drastic increase, Xinhua News Agency reported Saturday, triggering market concerns over the declining purchasing power and persistent inflation problem in China.

The egg prices rose 7.3 percent Saturday compared with July 1, reaching the highest level since 2008, Xinhua reported over the weekend, citing data from its pricing monitoring system.

Geographically, all provinces and municipalities have witnessed egg price hikes, with the prices reaching above 10 yuan ($1.56) per kilogram in majority of the areas. Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Jilin Province and Chongqing Municipality saw the biggest increases of 12-15 percent, Xinhua said.

The prices of pork and beef also rose slightly over the weekend, but at a negligible rate compared with the egg prices.
The prices of eggs have been rising since the second half of 2010, said Guo Huiyong, an agriculture analyst at Beijing Orient Agribusiness Consultant Ltd.

"The normal ex-farm price should be about 8 yuan per kilogram, bringing 6 percent profit margin to poultry farmers," Guo told the Global Times.

Persistent rainfall since last year has led to reduced poultry farming and a drop in the egg supply, pushing the prices up, Guo said.

The increasing inventory demand for festival season and rising feed costs are other factors behind the egg price hike, according to Guo. He added that the soaring prices of pork also partially led to increased consumption of eggs.

As mid and late August is the traditional off-season for egg production, egg prices are expected to rise further in the next few days, ihongpan.com, a business portal, reported Sunday, citing Qian Minghuo, president of the Hangzhou Poultry Trade Industry Association.

The egg price hike has also fueled market worries over inflation as egg prices play an important part, weighing more than grain prices in the consumer price index.

But Guo dismissed such concerns. The supply is expected to increase and so the prices will drop in September or October, after the Mid-Autumn Festival, Guo said.

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