Rising costs prompt calls for action on prices

CHINA - The rising cost of food has prompted calls for the government to take measures to stabilize prices, which climbed 15.4 percent year-on-year in July, with the cost of pork and other meat jumping 45.2 percent.
calendar icon 14 August 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

The National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday the price of eggs rose 30.6 percent and edible oil 30.1 percent over the same period last year, while aquatic products were up 5.4 percent and fresh vegetables 18.7 percent.

But analysts said the latest price increases are mainly due to a seasonal short supply of pork, chicken, fresh vegetables and other products.

"Farmers reduced pig and poultry numbers in recent years due to poor access to information and low prices, and that caused an imbalance in supply and demand," said Li Yiping, a professor at Renmin University of China's School of Economics.

Meanwhile, a surge in global grain prices pushed up costs in the livestock, food processing and catering industries, leading to a general increase in the country's food prices.

"If the government offers timely and transparent guidance to farmers, supply pressure can be eased and the prices will stabilize," said Li, adding that this process will take time.

He also said the price rises are reasonable and will boost farmers' income and help narrow the gap between urban and rural wages.

Source: ChinaDaily.com
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