News 527 views last update:Sep 5, 2007

Chinese pork prices to stabilise long-term

For the longer term, pork prices in China are likely to stabilise with further surges unlikely, a senior state planner has said. In the short term, they may fluctuate.

Speaking in Beijing, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission Bi Jingquan said rising international prices of oil, wheat and soybeans, as well as disease among China's pigs, shifting production and living patterns have contributed to higher pork prices.

Inflation in the January-July period hit 3.5%, driven by the sizzling economy and a 15.4% surge in the price of pork and other food items over the year-earlier period.

Consumer prices soared 5.6% in July over the same month last year - the highest monthly inflation rate since February 1997.

Bi said China's pork prices may remain volatile in the short term, but further surges are unlikely over the longer term. He noted that efforts to lower pork prices may not have an immediate impact on the consumer price index (CPI).

Pork prices are not likely to come down significantly until the second quarter of next year, he said.

China's pork prices helped push inflation to a 10-year high this summer.

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