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Chinese Pork prices in major cities continue to rise

by 5m Editor
6 July 2007, at 9:35am

SHANGHAI - China's Year of the Pig is rapidly turning into the Year of the Lean Wallet with pork prices going through the roof in major Chinese cities.

Wholesale prices of pork in Shanghai reached a record 17.2 yuan (about 2.26 U.S. dollars) per kilogram on Thursday. Prices have continued to climb in other major cities including Beijing and Guangzhou.

On Wednesday, Beijing reported a record retail pork price of 19 yuan (about 2.5 U.S. dollars) per kilo, the highest in 10 years. In Xinfadi market, a major wholesale market in southern Beijing, pigs are being butchered before they reach the standard weight to meet the demand.

In May, Guangzhou consumers were complaining that retail prices of pork had reached 17.4 yuan per kilo but on Tuesday they were up another fifteen percent to 20 yuan per kilogram (about 2.63 U.S. dollars).

Industry analysts say supply problems are the main factor in the price hike. The warm weather has caused some pigs to fall ill during transportation and the recent outbreak of blue ear disease has led to a mass culling of pigs that government agencies find it difficult to quantify.

China has been subsidizing pig breeders in a bid to curb pork prices. Earlier reports said the Chinese government would spend 6.5 billion yuan (about 855 million U.S. dollars) to hold prices down, which are impacting the nation's consumer price index.

The Ministry of Commerce recently launched a crackdown on the "unlicensed slaughter" of pigs and on the sale of dangerous pigs injected with water and diseased pork.

5m Editor