Skyrocketing consumer pork prices in China have prompted Communist Party planners to release meat from national reserves to maintain supplies for national holiday celebrations, the South China Morning Post reported.
Reuters reported Tuesday that Beijing had approved the release of 14,400 tons of frozen pork from state-controlled food reserves effective Friday. The move took place before the National Day holiday in the first week of October.
Many outlets have described the situation as China’s ongoing fight against “porkflation.”
The South China Morning Post reported that this will be the third such release this month, with some of the frozen meat being provided for China’s September 10-12 Mid-Autumn Festival.
It said total monthly releases from national and regional pork reserves hit a record 200,000 tons.
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Pork prices rose about 22.5 percent in August compared to a year earlier, according to The Guardian. This was followed in July by the highest price increase to date of 25.6 percent compared to the previous month.
Overall, pork prices in China are up more than 50 percent year-on-year, the Morning Post reported.
Pork is a great economic indicator for China.
China battles ‘porkflation’ as price of popular meat soars
Staple’s costs have risen over 50% since May due to supply constraints and recovery in demand
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The Guardian noted that China is the world’s largest single consumer of pork.
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In its report, the Morning Post said that the common price of the popular meat is 31 yuan (US$4.40) per kilogram on average across 22 provinces and cities. The Hong Kong publication, citing financial data provider Wind, said that this represented the “highest level since May 2021”.
“In the last four or five months, the price of pork has increased very rapidly, and I spend much less on pork now,” Zhu Yuyun, a 62-year-old retiree from Guangzhou, told the Morning Post.
“I used to buy five ribs at a time for about 70 yuan, now I buy two ribs and the price is almost 60 yuan,” Zhu said. Sixty yuan is about $8.50.
According to the report, Meng Wei, spokeswoman for China’s National Development and Reform Commission, addressed the issue in a statement Monday, the Morning Post reported.
“As the National Day approaches, demand for staples like vegetables and pork is booming,” Meng said. “Combined with unfavorable factors such as the spread of pandemics and heavy rainfall in some places, the work to ensure supply and price stability of basic commodities is under some pressure.”
The Guardian reported the NDRC advised Chinese farmers in July against “irrational reluctance to sell” and called “hoarding” their pigs for fattening or waiting for better prices a harmful practice that “could lead to short-term shortages but also flooding.” create in the future.”
Wang Zuli of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences said controlling price stability and supply is in the “vital interests of the masses.”
“If the pork price is low and farmers are losing big, the government will increase the hog price through collection and storage,” he said, according to the Guardian. “When pork prices are high, the government will stabilize the hog price by releasing reserves.”
Nikkei Asia reported on September 11 that Chinese pork traders warned that the Chinese government’s release of additional frozen pork could be ineffective.
“Most of our customers prefer fresh pork over frozen pork,” a pork trader in Shanghai told the outlet.
“Customers are now buying less than before April’s lockdown as household incomes stagnate and pork prices soar,” he added, citing a two-month COVID-19 lockdown in China’s financial capital earlier this year.
https://www.westernjournal.com/chinas-central-planners-scramble-control-runaway-food-prices/ China’s Central Planners Scramble to Control Runaway Food Prices