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China: more pigs on market for lower pork price

China has begun releasing pigs from its central reserves into the domestic market to fight the ever-increasing pork prices.

The high prices for pork have already helped boost inflation to 11-year highs.

Under a plan issued by the Chinese ministry of finance and the ministry of commerce, China is releasing 30,000 metric tonnes of live pigs from its central reserves between September 10 and October 15, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

Allegedly, the pigs will be released into 22 cities, and will be priced slightly lower than market prices.

Pork prices have been stabilising in recent weeks after sharp rises due to PRRS and increased demand.

Meanwhile, it is expected that China's pork supply may not fully rebound to normal levels until the summer of 2008, said the vice chairman of China Animal Agriculture Association, Qiao Yufeng.

Production costs remain high, so prices are likely to stay relatively high till then, he said.

"It simply takes time to increase the number of piglets and to rear pigs," Qiao said.

As a breeding cycle normally takes one year, it is hard to increase market supplies rapidly. "And this (shortage) happens at a time when prices of agricultural products, which are used to produce the feed, are rising quickly," Qiao said.

Related websites:
• China Animal Agriculture Association
• Chinese ministry of finance
• Chinese ministry of commerce
• Dow Jones Newswires 

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