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Rules on Meat Reserves to Stabilize Prices
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The Ministry of Commerce (MOC) and the Ministry of Finance (MOF) Monday jointly issued management measures on the central meat reserves in an effort to stabilize meat prices in case of emergency, the Beijing Times reported today.

Effective beginning September 15, the rules authorize the MOC to release the central meat reserves after consulting with the MOF in times of large price fluctuations due to serious natural disasters or public health emergencies.

The two ministries will also work out a plan for determining the amount, category, and prices of meat released and arrange distribution.

Relevant government agencies should treat central meat reserves as a long-term solution and rotate their stock periodically, according to the rules.

In a related move, the State Council issued an emergency circular on Monday calling governments of all regions to ensure ample supplies of subsidiary foods like pork and keep their prices stable.

The recent surging meat prices have concerned both the government and individual residents. Central bank statistics yesterday showed that the wholesale price for live pigs saw a year-on-year increase of 85 percent last month.

Soaring food prices are believed to have fueled a steep increase in the consumer price index - 5.6 percent last month, the highest in 10 years.

( August 15, 2007)

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