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Cold weather pushes up vegetable prices: ministry

(Xinhua)

15:48, March 13, 2012

BEIJING, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Cold weather drove vegetable prices higher for the week that ended on March 11, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Tuesday.

The increase ended a five-straight-week drop in vegetable prices, the MOC said in a statement on its website.

Last week, the average wholesale price of 18 staple vegetables rose 2.6 percent week-on-week, the MOC said.

Chinese cabbage prices rose 14.5 percent last week from a week earlier, and the price of white gourd went up 11.3 percent.

The average wholesale price of 8 staple aquatic products gained 1 percent, with the price of hairtail up 2.2 percent.

Meanwhile, the price of pork, which was the main driver of the nation's inflation last year, fell for six consecutive weeks last week, down 0.8 percent. Egg prices dropped 0.4 percent during the period.

Food prices have a one-third weighting in the calculation of China's consumer price index (CPI), a major gauge of inflation. The country's CPI eased to 3.2 percent last month, down from 4.5 percent in January.

Of major production materials, prices of non-ferrous metals, energy, rubber and building materials gained week-on-weak, while those of light industry materials, steel and mineral products fell.

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