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China's farm produce prices down

(Xinhua)

09:54, October 19, 2011

BEIJING, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- Farm produce prices in China fell in the week ending Oct. 16 compared to the previous week, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said in a report released on Tuesday.

Vegetable prices posted the sharpest declines. The wholesale prices of 18 staple vegetables were down 5 percent on average during the week.

Meanwhile, the price of pork fell 1.2 percent and beef was down 0.4 percent.

The price of eggs continued to drop for a third week as supplies increased. The egg price was down 0.4 percent from the previous week, and down 0.9 percent in the past three weeks.

Eight kinds of sea products also saw an average price drop of 0.5 percent.

Prices of rice and edible oil rose slightly, both up 0.2 percent.

The general price decline of farm products is further decreasing the pressure on inflation, which began easing in July.

The country's consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, climbed 6.1 percent year-on-year in September from 6.2 percent in August and 6.5 percent in July, which was a 37-month high.

Despite the eases, inflation remains stubbornly high -- far exceeding the government's full-year target of 4 percent for 2011.

Sheng Laiyun, spokesman of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), said that the likelihood of CPI growth further dropping in the fourth quarter was very high.

The government has made controlling consumer prices a top priority this year by tightening monetary policies which included raising the benchmark interest rates three times and hiking banks' reserve requirement ratio six times since the start of the year.

NBS data showed that the economy expanded 9.1 percent year-on-year in the third quarter, the slowest pace in two years.

The slowing economic growth and tight monetary polices all pointed to an inflation decrease, Sheng said at a press conference Tuesday in Beijing.

He said that a bumper harvest this year and declining international commodity prices would also ease price pressure in the coming months.

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