After garlic, A/H1N1 leads to pepper price hike

0 CommentsPrint E-mail CRI, December 3, 2009
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South China's Guangdong province has seen the price of pepper soar due to the rapid spread of A/H1N1 flu, local newspaper Guangzhou Daily reported on Thursday.

After A/H1N1 flu brought about a price hike for garlic in parts of China, the price of pepper has followed suit and doubled or even tripled within a few months in Guangdong, partly because of a rumor circulating among citizens that pepper is able to help kill bacteria and resist potential infections of flu.

According to Tao-ran-ju, a well-known restaurant in Guangzhou, which offers spicy Sichuan dishes, the price of pepper has increased from 5.8 to 18 yuan per kilo, more than triple that of a month before.

At a wholesale food market in Guangzhou, a woman named Zhang was shocked by the hike in the price of pepper. She told the Guangzhou Daily that a kind of pepper produced in Hunan province was sold at 7 yuan a kilo last year while this year its price has risen drastically to 42 yuan.

Furthermore, merchants in the city predicted that the price will continue to rise as dealers who turned high profits by speculation in the price of garlic now entered the pepper market. Seeing the possibility of further price hike, other dealers have begun to corner the pepper market, planning to sell out their stocks at higher prices.

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