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Pork Price Hike
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Pork prices have hit a record high in many cities in China, due to the decrease of pigs in the run up to slaughter in May.

The Ministry of Agriculture says the pork price hike will also affect the price and sales volume of beef, mutton and chicken.

In east China's Shandong Province, the provincial capital, Jinan, reports a price rise in pork of one yuan per kilo. The rib price has also risen to 28 yuan or US$3.5 per kilo.

Meanwhile, in Qingdao in Shandong, at least four adjustments have been made to the pork price in May alone and, according to a local food company manager, the pork price has increased by 20 percent during the adjustment period within half a month.

In the northeast Chinese city of Changchun, where the price of beef is usually 8 yuan - or more than US$1 - higher than that of pork, the pork price hike has led to an increase in the sales volume of beef since beef is now sold at almost the same price.

In both Changchun and Shenyang, the price of pork has broken the record for the last 10 years.

The Beijing News reports that some administration departments have organized inspectors to carry out investigations into the pork market around the country.

A consumer in Beijing also expressed the worry about the pork price hike to the newspaper. She hoped that government departments could intervene in cooling down the prices, since eggs in addition to pork and chicken, also saw a price jump.

However, Zhang Zhiqiang from the Jinan Price Control Administration predicts that the pork price won't continue to mount, since it has already reached its peak.

Zhang Zhiqiang also analyses that there will be more pig breeders, in light of the increased purchasing price of pigs. And, people will consume less pork, anyway, with summer approaching.

These basic facts, according to Zhang Zhiqiang, will alleviate the high price of pork, making it just a temporary phenomenon.

(CRI May 22, 2007)

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