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Pork Price Drops, Egg Price Increases
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The price of pork in China dropped 0.2 percent due to an increase in supply last week, the Ministry of Commerce announced on Wednesday.

According to a statement from the ministry, the price index of agricultural products stood at 110.2 points last week, up 0.1 percent on the previous week.

The prices of food products, cooking oil, processed chicken and eggs went up while those of pork, vegetables, fruits and sugar dropped. The price of aquatic products remained stable, said the statement.

The statement said that despite a rise in supply the price of eggs would keep going up because of feed price hikes while the price of pork would become stable.

The prices of pork and eggs have soared in recent weeks on Chinese market due largely to tight supply and increased production costs.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, in April live pigs nationwide were priced 71.3 percent higher than a month earlier, and pork, 29.3 percent higher.

In Beijing, the pork price went up more than 30 percent, while wholesale prices in Shanghai hit 16 yuan (US$2.1) per kilogram, the highest in a decade, up 20 percent on the previous month.

The price hikes were caused by a marginal decline in the pig population this year as pig raisers made losses over the past couple years and were reluctant to raise pigs, said Xu Lianzhong, a senior economist with the price supervision center under the National Development and Reform Commission.

The outbreak of blue ear disease, also known as Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS), which caused pig deaths and culling was an immediate cause of the short supply, said Xu.

(Xinhua News Agency June 7, 2007)

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