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CPI increase fueled by fruit, pork price rises

By Li Yang | China Daily | Updated: 2019-07-11 07:31
A customer shops for vegetables at a supermarket in Handan city, North China's Hebei province, June 12, 2019. [Photo/IC]

Editor's note: The consumer price index increased 2.7 percent year-on-year last month, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday. China Daily writer Li Yang comments:

The monthly CPI increase has stayed above 2 percent for four consecutive months. Like it or not, the inflation pressure is building up, although it still remains under control, as the CPI growth is mainly fueled by the rising prices of certain consumer goods not universal price hikes in the market.

It is noteworthy that the price of fruits skyrocketed 42.7 percent year-on-year last month, and the price of pork rose 21.1 percent, which contributed 0.71 and 0.45 percentage points of the CPI increase respectively.

The continuous rise in fruit prices since January stems from the reduction of fruit output in some major fruit production regions, which was mainly caused by freezing weather last year.

And the increase in the price of pork since last year is a result of the spread of African swine fever nationwide. By July 3, 1.16 million pigs had been culled because of the spread of the disease, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

China is the world's largest producer and consumer of fruit and pork-the diversity of its fruit plantations enables it to strike a supply-demand balance even if the output of certain kinds of fruits drops, and the huge capacity of its pig farming industry, the largest in the world, always serves as a solid foundation for its recovering from swine epidemics.

Although the apple, pear and peach yield might drop this year due to unfavorable weather conditions, it is hoped the output of other kinds of fruits, such as watermelon, and some subtropical and tropical fruits will remain at a normal level, and thus help to stabilize the fruit market after they enter harvest seasons in summer and autumn.

But the floods caused by heavy rains this summer which have wreaked havoc in many places in South China, a main fruit production region, will naturally affect the output of local fruits.

And the pig farming industry has an obvious periodicity as it takes several months for healthy pigs to grow up. Not to mention that the prevention and control of outbreak of the African swine fever remains "complicated and tough", and it is too early to talk about the recovery of pork supply.

Which means the rise in the prices of fruits and pork is unlikely to be halted in the foreseeable future.

Despite this, the price of grain, eggs, poultry meat, vegetables and aquatic products remain largely stable, which has helped to maintain the healthy and stabilizing fundamentals of the food market.

  
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