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Food supply ensured ahead of Spring Festival
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The governed will take concrete measures to ensure adequate supplies of pork and cooking oil ahead of the Spring Festival shopping spree, a senior official said Sunday.

Minister of Commerce Chen Deming said, "Commerce departments will maintain market stability and ensure that commodities necessary to the lives of the public are not out of stock before and during the traditional holiday."

"The ministry will strengthen daily monitoring of the market and keep a close watch on changes in supply and demand and prices, " he said.

Rising food prices, especially pork, the country's staple meat, had pushed the consumer price index to an 11-year high of 6.9 percent in November last year.

China's pork production fell dramatically last summer on breeders' dampened enthusiasm due to rising feed costs in addition to a massive pig cull after the outbreak of blue-ear disease in some regions.

The nationwide supply of pork, however, had recovered to the level of the same period of last year, according to the ministry.

Chen said the ministry would encourage companies to increase supplies of grain, cooking oil and meat and to redistribute these key commodities between different regions.

The government would release part of its reserves of meat products to the market in an effort to satisfy the demand from low-income families, college students, migrant workers and people of minority nationalities.

To increase supply, the ministry would also adjust its trade policy and crack down on profiteering, hoarding and other activities that disrupted the market order, he said.

(Xinhua News Agency January 21, 2008)

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