China Plans to Release Some of Its Pork Stockpile to Hold Down Prices

In response to rising prices of pork, China’s Commerce Ministry announced its plan to release 200,000-metric-ton of frozen pork onto the market. The New York Times reports on China’s continued effort to curb inflation:

The crush of demand for pork has made the supply vulnerable to all sorts of fluctuations, from epidemics of pig diseases to weather changes that affect the price of grain that fattens pigs. But a nation that runs on pork cannot afford to run short. So in 2007, the government decided to establish a national pork reserve, reasoning that a backlog of frozen meat could be used to make up for shortages and stabilize prices when necessary.

This is following Wednesday’s announcement of a major investment in large-scale pig farms this year as the central government attempts to moderate long-term prices. From Xinhua News Agency:

The Consumer Price Index (CPI), the main gauge of inflation, jumped to 6.4 percent in June, the highest level since June 2008 and well above the government’s target of 4 percent for this year. The price of pork has become a major driver for rising consumer prices.

“Stabilizing prices remains the top priority for our macro-regulatory policies,” Premier Wen Jiabao said early this week.


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