Prices of pork, the most consumed meat in China and also the main contributor to its rising inflation, are expected to stabilize by August, an official said.
Wang Zhicai, the Agriculture Ministry’s director of animal husbandry, said prices would come down as the number of farm pigs rise, Xinhua news agency reported.
Chinese people have been groaning under rising food prices, especially pork, and the government has come under increasing pressure from them. Xinhua said the public has been engaged in heated discussions online with some saying prices are “crazily” high and cannot afford the meat.
Government data showed pork prices in June surged 57.1 percent year- on-year, accounting for 21 percent to China’s inflation which soared to a three-year high of 6.4 percent in June, far above the government target of 4 percent.
On Sunday pork prices in Beijing was quoted at $5.5 a kilo (2.2 pounds).
Wang blamed the problem on surging feed costs. He said corn and other feed prices currently cost 2.18 yuan (33 U.S. cents) a kilo, up 10.7 percent year-on-year.
“To raise a pig until it grows to 100 kilos (220 pounds), the cost is 1,350 yuan (nearly $209), and that’s 23.3 percent more than last year,” Wang said.
He also said with more number of farmers choosing to work in cities, the number of individual breeders of live pigs is also going down, affecting supplies.
Wang urged local governments to implement policies that would reward major pig-raising counties.