Sole importer raises price of beef 2.8pc

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 November, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 November, 2010, 12:00am

The city's sole importer of cattle from the mainland has raised the price of beef by 2.8 per cent.

Ng Fung Hong said owing to the continued rises in rearing costs and the value of the yuan, the wholesale price of live cattle would increase 2.8 per cent.

The price change would also help in maintaining supplies from the mainland, the company said.

Kowloon Beef and Mutton Merchants' Association deputy director Poon Chi said the wholesale price per 100 catties of beef would rise by HK$60 to HK$75. Retail prices would be decided by individual stores.

He said the increase was reasonable given the rising yuan.

Simon Wong Ka-wo, chairman of the Hong Kong Food Council, said feed price rises had contributed to rearing costs but the yuan was the strongest factor.

Wong said many other foodstuffs had risen in price thanks to the weakening US dollar and the booming yuan and euro.

He said Chinese-style restaurants would raise charges by at least 5 per cent before the end of the year as they usually sourced up to 80 per cent of supplies from the mainland.

Western-style luxury diners may have to pay even more. Wong said prices might increase 10 to 15 per cent as restaurants bought expensive foodstuffs from Europe.

Food prices would not drop until the second quarter next year because of the currency issue and demand in the commodities market, Wong said.

Cafe de Coral chairman Michael Chan Yue-kwong said food supplies prices had risen 5 to 6 per cent in recent months and he expected steak and pork chop prices would rise 30 per cent in the next two months. However, he said the chain would not raise charges for now.