Business / Industries

Chinese farm produce prices down last week

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-06-07 10:51

BEIJING - China's farm produce prices generally maintained a downward trend last week, as data from the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) showed that prices dropped during the week of May 28-June 3 from the previous week, marking the fifth week of decline.

The MOC data released Wednesday showed that 18 kinds of major vegetables saw a 7.5-percent drop in wholesale prices from the previous week as supplies increased. Prices of bitter gourd and cucumber were down 17.3 percent and 14.9 percent, respectively.

According to the data, the price of pork also fell 0.9 percent while prices of beef and mutton rose 0.5 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively. The price of chicken edged up 0.1 percent.

Prices of staple foods, including rice and flour, remained unchanged, while the prices of different kinds of cooking oils saw moderate increases. Eight kinds of sea products saw an average price rise of 0.3 percent, data showed.

Prices of eggs and garlic saw significant increases.

According to data, the price of garlic surged 20.3 percent due to decreased output in major production regions and the impacts of unfavorable weather. However, despite the recent hike, the garlic wholesale price last week remained 10.3 percent lower year-on-year, the MOC report said.

The report said egg prices ended the downshifting trend seen since the start of the year, rising 2.6 percent last week. The cities of Beijing and Wuhan saw egg prices surge 11.4 percent and 10.2 percent, respectively.

The recent price surges on eggs and garlic have reignited concerns of inflation, even though analysts expect it to further moderate in May. Data show that the nation's consumer price index, the main gauge of inflation, eased to 3.4 percent in April from 3.6 percent in March.

An official with the National Development and Reform Commission also said Tuesday the price increases of eggs and garlic were "a reasonable recovery" from low bases.

Garlic prices remained within a reasonable range, while egg prices were still running low compared with the highs of the past two years, said Zhou Wangjun, deputy head of the price department of the NDRC, China's top economic planner.

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