Price of pork predicted to rise

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 May, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 May, 2007, 12:00am

Pork prices are set to soar on the mainland this summer due to a shortfall in stock and high feed prices, an industry analyst said.

Guangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing and Shenyang have seen double-digit increases in pork prices since April, with retail prices rising more than 20 per cent in some centres, mainland media reported.

The Ministry of Agriculture had said on its website that by the middle of this month, pork was selling for 15.6 yuan a kilogram at Beijing's Xinfadi market, a 20 per cent rise from last month and almost double for the same time last year.

The ministry said yesterday the national agricultural wholesale price index, which started at 100 in 2000, hit 136 this month, up from 120 at the same time last year.

Li Yuan , a pork sales manager with Beijing's Dahongmen Meat Processing Factory, said it was the only time in his 20 years in the business that he had seen pork prices rise in May. 'Usually pork prices go down in early summer after people get tired of eating much meat in the winter.'

Li Xinye , from the China Agriculture Information Centre, said few farmers raised pigs last year because of the sluggish market. He said uncertainty about the grain supply last year drove up the cost of feed. 'Both problems cannot be resolved in the short term, so the price will remain high in the near future.'

Grain supplies may stay steady thanks to government subsidies. Hu Jinglin, an economic planning official with the Ministry of Finance, said farmers would be offered 42.7 billion yuan in subsidies this year, a 63 per cent increase over last year.