Wen pledges to stabilize pork prices
Updated: 2007-05-28 06:36
China's Premier Wen
Jiabao visits a pig farm at a village in Xingping City, North China's
Shaanxi Province, May 27, 2007. Wen is on an inspection tour in the
province to look into the supply and demand of pork, whose prices have
risen sharply in a number of cities. [Xinhua] More
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has asked local governments at all levels to
ensure the supply of pork and maintain market order amid rising concerns over
soaring pork price.
higher than a month earlier, and pork, 29.3 percent higher, largely due to
"We have noticed the recent rise in pork price, and
the government is going all out to ensure the supply of pork and keep it
affordable," Wen told a crowd in a supermarket during his visit in Xi'an on
Saturday for an investigation into pig-raising and pork market.
resident of Xi'an in the supermarket told Wen they can still afford the pork
price for the moment, however they feel pressured from further hikes.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, in April live pigs nationwide
were priced 71.3
The price of pork in Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi
Province, has risen from 14 yuan (1.8 U.S. dollars) a kilogram to 17 yuan (2.2
U.S. dollars) within a few days.
In Beijing, the pork price went up more
than 30 percent in recent days, while wholesale prices in Shanghai has hit 16
yuan (2.1 U.S. dollars) per kilogram, a record high for a decade, up 20 percent
The number of live pigs in stock in the village declined
from more than 7,000 to more than 3,500 since the second half of last year due
to price drops, the head of Sanqu Village in Shaanxi's Xingping City, which
focuses on pig-raising, told Wen.
"Pig raisers kept making losses over
the past couple years and they are reluctant to raise pigs. This led to a
marginal decline in population of live pigs for the current year," according to
Xu Lianzhong, a senior economist with the price supervision center under the
National Development and Reform Commission.
The outbreak of blue ear
disease, also known as POrcine REproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS),
which caused many pig deaths and culling was an immediate cause of a short
supply, according to Xu.
Wen said the pig production and market supply
of pork is directly related to people's livelihood, and urged local governments
to take relevant measures.
Subsidizes should be offered to farmers who
raise sows, the Premier said.
He also required the local governments to
keep a closer eye on the quality, price and quarantine inspection of pork to
maintain an orderly market.
Li Xizhen, head of the market monitoring
department under the Ministry of Commerce said earlier, "The Ministry will
follow closely changes on the pork market. National pork reserves will be used
It would take about a year to resume the original stock
of 7,000 pigs at Sanqu Village, local farmers said.
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