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Price hikes over 5% require proof
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The National Development and Reform Commission announced yesterday that starting from January any price hike for edible oil, pork, beef, mutton and milk as well as for liquefied petroleum gas by over 5 percent (or if the price hike exceeds 8 percent within 10 days) must be reported to appropriate departments, according to the Information Times.

The public announcement ruled that a written report on price alterations and corresponding reasons must be filed with local price control departments within 24 hours after any price changes. Those violating this rule must return to their original prices or lower the scope of their price hikes.

The announcement also defined the range of appropriate reasons for a price hike: the rising costs of raw materials, human resources and financial expenses; and the changing tax rates.

Compared to January 2007 Guangzhou's prices for food, oil, meat, poultry and egg, seafood and frozen food have all increased by 23.3 percent.

Cold weather influenced the growth of local vegetables, causing them to rise in price by 38.7 percent or by 1.20 yuan per kilo, currently settling at 4.30 yuan per kilo.

Meat, poultry and egg prices rose by 19 percent, from 21 yuan per kilo to 25 yuan per kilo. Beef prices rose 31.8 percent, from 22 yuan per kilo to 29 yuan per kilo.

Pork prices climbed 36 percent from 22.2 yuan per kilo in January 2007 to 30.2 yuan per kilo, while frozen food prices rose 22.1 percent, from 20.8 yuan per kilo to 25.4 yuan per kilo. The mutton price hike surpassed that of pork, up 41.4 percent from 29 yuan per kilo to 41 yuan per kilo.
Retail prices for freshwater fish and seafood rose 11.7 percent. Crab wholesale prices reached 70 yuan per kilo due to a decrease in crab products. Along with rising food oil prices, foodstuffs also rose 40.9 percent.

The Information Times discerned that only the price of melons, beans and peas went down, falling 1.6 percent from 6.30 yuan per kilo to 6.40 yuan per kilo on an average.

( by Zhang Ming'ai, January 4, 2008)

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