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Beef price up on low supply

By Zhao Qian (Global Times)

08:35, January 24, 2013

As beef prices have continued to rise, contributing to the high rate of inflation, China should announce a series of measures including more subsidies to boost cattle supply, an industry leader told the Global Times Wednesday.

The average beef price nationwide has been high over the past months compared with last year, with average daily prices in mid-January up 30 percent over the same period last year, according to recent reports by regional media including the Guangzhou Daily.

"A shortage of beef supply is the main cause of rising beef prices," Gao Guan, deputy secretary-general of the China Meat Association, told the Global Times Wednesday.

Gao noted that farmers and cattle farms have become hesitant about raising cattle because the industry is facing increased feeding costs. The costs have gone up due to a variety of factors, which include rising prices of grain and labor as well as a lack of good pastures.

The feeding period for adult cattle lasts three to four years, which Gao said takes much longer than raising poultry or pigs.

"The overall feeding cost has increased around 30 percent in 2012 year-on-year," a sales manager surnamed Wang at Shandong Jiayang Livestock Development Co told the Global Times Thursday.

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