Food prices fall in late May: figures

Updated: 2010-06-04 19:01
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BEIJING - Food prices in China's 50 major cities started to fall in late May, figures released Friday by the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

During the May 21-30 period, vegetable prices in these cities had dropped. Prices of cabbages fell 7.5 percent, celery fell 2.1 percent and tomatoes fell 7.8 percent compared to the May 11-20 period.

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The average price of long beans was down the most by 12.5 percent at 6.99 yuan per kilogram during the period, figures showed.

However, there were some moderate price rises in the late May period, most notably rice was up 0.7 percent at 4.59 yuan ($0.67) per kilo. Flour remained unchanged at 4.2 yuan per kilo.

Prices of edible oil were stable and only a maximum 0.2 percent price rise was recorded for meat including pork, beef and chicken.

In China, food prices account for one third of the weighting of consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation.

China's CPI rose 2.4 percent year on year in March and the growth for April accelerated to 2.8 percent, according to statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics.

The government is aiming to keep inflation under 3 percent for 2010.

Economists earlier said the possibility of serious inflation in the country was easing.

Chief economist at China International Capital Corp Ha Jiming forecast the May CPI to rise 3.2 percent from a year earlier last week.

Official economic figures for May including CPI are expected to be released next week.