Public warned on high pork prices

HONG KONG - Hong Kong consumers will have to pay a high price for pork for at least six more months even though the price in the mainland has dropped more than 6 percent in recent weeks.
calendar icon 5 September 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

Hong Kong consumers have been paying high prices since May because of a shortage of pigs in the mainland due to an outbreak of blue-ear disease.

But according to the National Development and Reform Commission, the price of pork in 36 mainland cities had fallen to 13.6 yuan (HK$14.05) for half a kilogram, a drop of 6.4 percent on the peak price in early August.

This has not affected the Hong Kong market where fresh pork was selling at HK$34 a catty yesterday.

NDRC vice chairman Bi Jingquan said the high prices of pork and other foods were mainly to blame for the 3.5 percent rise in the consumer price index in the mainland for the first seven months of this year compared with the same period in 2006. He said a series of government policies had helped restore the supply of live pigs and stabilized prices, though there could be some fluctuation in the market in the short term.

Consumer Council chief executive Connie Lau Yin-hing said Hong Kong should follow the mainland though she could not say when the price of pork would fall.

"The public can do little but put up with soaring pork prices," Lau said.

She said the council may conduct research as to why Hong Kong's pork prices remain constantly high.

Hong Kong's sole pork dealer Ng Fung Hong would not comment on speculation local dealers may start buying pork from mainland pig farmers at a lower price. "I don't know," said a manager responsible for live pig bidding in Ng Fung Hong, identified by the surname Lau.

Source: The Standard
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