Soaring pork prices raise CPI figure for June

The price of pork in China has hit a new record high due to rising costs and short supply, contributing to a rise of six percent year-on-year in the June consumer price index (CPI) figure, the Shanghai Securities News said Wednesday.

Data released Tuesday by the Ministry of Commerce showed that pork prices in main markets nationwide last week increased by 4.8 percent over those of a week before, and that the wholesale price of eight seafood products had risen by 1.2 percent, making it the seventh consecutive week in which prices had been on the increase. 

Analysts stated that the price hikes in pork and seafood were the main drivers of the rise in CPI for June, as they are important staples of the Chinese diet. 

The price of pork was 27.67 yuan ($4.3) per kilogram last week, surpassing the previous peak of 26 yuan set in 2008. The cost of live pigs also surged to 18.57 yuan per kilogram last week, beating the previous record high of 17.20 yuan reached in April 2008.

Pork prices have shot up for months, while the CPI, the main gauge of inflation, rose by a 34-month high of 5.5 percent from a year earlier in May, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on June 14. The figure is far above the government’s annual target of 4 percent.

The National Bureau of Statistics spokesman Sheng Laiyun attributed the rising inflation largely to an 11.7-percent surge in food prices. Sheng considers pork prices to be the main culprit, as they increased by 40.4 percent year-on-year in May and contributed an overall 20% to the rise in CPI.

Global Times

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