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China expects slowing farm produce price growth

(Xinhua)

08:40, April 19, 2012

China's farm produce prices are likely to fall back to 10-percent growth this year as supplies of most agricultural products are becoming more plentiful, a think tank forecast on Wednesday.

As the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) released a new green paper on the issue, it predicted that grain prices are likely to grow 7 percent and livestock prices may jump 12 percent year on year in 2012.

It is estimated that fishery products will see a 5-percent rise in price, according to the paper, which analyzes the development of China's rural regions in 2011 and predicts their development in 2012.

China's food prices, which account for roughly a third of the weighting in calculating the consumer price index (CPI), the main gauge of inflation in China, surged 11.8 percent year on year in 2011, pushing the index to grow 5.4 percent, well above the government's control target of 4 percent.

The green paper also predicted that meat output will grow to 82 million tonnes this year, spurred by price gains in 2011, according to Zhu Gang, a researcher with the Rural Development Institute under the CASS.

Prices of pork, China's favorite meat, saw great rises in the middle of last year, stirring public concerns of stubbornly high inflation in the country. However, the CPI has shown signs of easing in the first quarter of 2012.

It rose 4.5 percent in January and narrowed to a 3.2-percent increase in February before rebounding to 3.6 percent in March. The government aims to keep the CPI increase at around 4 percent this year.

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