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Garlic, egg prices surge in China

06-05-2012 09:39 BJT

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China's food prices have always been in the spotlight for their contribution towards the country's inflation figure. Early this year, it was cabbages, and this month another essential ingredient for Chinese cuisine have seen ITS prices surge as well.

If you’re into garlic folks, prepare to pay more for this bulbous delight. The price of garlic in some parts of the country surged to as high as 7.3 yuan per kilogram, more than tripling from lows of 2.2 yuan per kilogram.

It’s fast, it’s raw, and it’s real. Food markets in China are the quickest barometer of supply and demand in a country where food prices make up the bulk of CPI. This time, it’s garlic prices that have gone out of its usual track. In China’s southern city of Guangzhou, wholesalers say garlic prices have not come down from above 4 yuan recently, doubling from its average level a year ago. Vendors say sales have been halved as a result.

Vendor Mr. Guan said, "Prices last year were very low, about 70 yuan cents to 1 yuan per half a kilogram, so on the supply side farmers couldn’t even break even. Therefore they had to reduce garlic fields this year, plus we had a rough winter last year, so garlic production went down 30 percent. "

However, garlic is not the only food item that worries the Chinese consumers. Egg prices are sky-rocketing too. Retailers say the price has been rising each day for the past week.

Retailer said, "It was only 3.7 yuan per half a kilo a week ago, and now it’s 4.8 yuan."

And a decline in supply is the main reason why.

Qian Minghuo, president of Poultry Trade Industry Association said, "It’s mainly because chicken farms have made too big a loss earlier this year to sustain their businesses. For a farmer that has 10 thousand chickens, the loss is above 8000 yuan per month, and it has lasted for the past 6 months. "

Qian says the negative situation forced many farmers to slaughter their chickens and cut reduction by about 20 percent. And he expects that egg prices to continue its up trend for the second half of this year, reaching 6 yuan, due to a rise in labour costs and feeds.


Editor:Zhang Rui |Source: CNTV.CN

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