Consumers pay as prices jump

0 CommentsPrint E-mail China Daily, December 28, 2010
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Editor's note: A number of commodities saw price hikes in 2010. Among these, soaring prices of agricultural commodities pushed the consumer price index (CPI), the major gauge of inflation, to a record high of 5.1 percent. While some prices have moderated due to government regulatory measures, others are expected to remain high for a longer period.

1. Garlic

Affected by weather vagaries, garlic production shrank by about 20 percent at the beginning of 2010, according to industry statistics.

In the meantime, increased exports of garlic and growing demand in the domestic market have fueled price hikes

Garlic prices peaked and surpassed the price of pork across the country during the summer. They have been gradually declining since November.

2. Peppers

A serious drought in southeastern China, where most of the nation's peppers are grown, has strained the market supply.

In March, pepper prices doubled and even tripled in many cities across China. In Beijing, the price surged more than three times, according to industry data.

Pepper prices jumped around the middle of year, shooting up 10 times to 40 yuan ($6.03) a kilogram from 4 yuan a kilogram in some major cities.

3. Potatoes

The price of potatoes has increased 84.5 percent month-on-month since October 2009, according to a report released in April.

While the soaring prices have swelled the wallets of many potato farmers, they have also pushed many starch processing factories to the brink of bankruptcy, domestic media reported.

4. Mung beans

Surging seasonal demand and speculation have pushed the price of mung beans to a peak of 12 yuan a kilogram from 3.5 yuan a kilogram this summer.

In July, in a bid to crack down on hoarding and speculation, the National Development and Reform Committee (NDRC) imposed high fines on those companies trying to gain a stranglehold on the market, with a maximum fine of 1 million yuan.

The price gradually declined over the following two months.

5. Ginger

In July, ginger led the market in price increases. The purchase price of ginger in major production bases has jumped 328.6 percent to 4.5 yuan a kilogram.

The price peaked in the following month at 6.6 yuan a kilogram, increasing 18.2 percent year-on-year, according to industry data. In Jiangsu, Tianjin and some other places, surges in August were as high as 30 percent.

The price further increased by 20 percent to 9.59 yuan a kilogram within 10 days in September in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, according to local government figures.

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