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News 363 views last update:Jan 28, 2008

Hong Kong to receive over 3,900 pigs a day

Hong Kong is to be supplied by Beijing with more than 3,900 live pigs daily to meet Lunar New Year demand and to help stabilise prices.

The Lunar New Year festival is due to begin on February 7.

Ministry of Commerce spokesman, Wang Xinpei, commented that the government is aware of the importance of pork supplies for Hong Kong. It is soon to announce an additional list of 31 authorised pig farms.

High pork prices
He did warn, however, that pork prices in mainland China are soaring due to shortages because of higher operating costs.

The three main Hong Kong pig suppliers - Ng Fung Hong, Guangnan Hong and the Agriculture Special Zone Development Association - have been called upon by the ministry to ensure adequate supply during the festival.

Concern over pork supply has risen after wholesale prices shot up 70% 10 days ago from HK$1,400 (US$179) per 100 catties (1 catty= 600g) to a record high of HK$2,400 (US$307).

Buyers said that the price hike was due to a drop in the number of live pigs shipped to Hong Kong, but the government insisted supply had been stable in previous days.

The Chinese government has recently started to temporarily intervene in the market to control the prices of some daily staples such as grain and meat to counteract inflation by requiring major producers to obtain government approval before raising their prices.

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