Pork prices are expected to remain high in the first half of the year but will likely decline in the second half, Assistant Minister of Commerce Huang Hai said yesterday.
The price of pork is being propped up by the growing cost of raising and transporting pigs, Huang told reporters in Beijing.
"However, as domestic supply increases, prices are expected to decline in the second half of the year," he said.
Wholesale pork prices hit a record high of 21.80 yuan ($3) per kilogram last week, compared with 14 yuan in May, ministry figures showed.
Huang said more than 2,500 pig-slaughtering companies that failed to meet industry standards were shut down, following inspections that began in August to safeguard product quality and food safety across the country.
More than 23,000 slaughterhouses were inspected during the four-month campaign, of which 7,700 unlicensed ones were shut down and almost 2 million kg of pork were confiscated.
"The ministry, along with other government agencies, will take measures to guarantee the pork supply during the Spring Festival holidays in February," Huang said.
(China Daily January 10, 2008)