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Farm Produce Prices Fall 0.6% Despite Rain

Agricultural prices slid 0.6 percent between June 9 and 15 from a week earlier, despite the torrential rains hitting south China in recent weeks, according to the latest Ministry of Commerce (MOC) statistics.

Figures based on a farm produce price survey in 36 medium and large cities nationwide revealed that of the 58 main types of agricultural products, 35 saw prices decrease, 18 saw an increase and five were unchanged.

Vegetable prices fell 5.4 percent week-on-week due to stable supplies from the country's northern regions, although the rain increased vegetable prices in some southern cities, including Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, and Xiamen, Fujian Province.

The wholesale price of pork and mutton dipped 0.3 percent and 0.03 percent, respectively, week on week, while the beef wholesale price was up 0.2 percent, the MOC said.

Grain prices remained stable, with rice leveled off and small-packaged flour prices were up 0.2 percent week on week.

Fruit dropped 0.2 percent week on week for seasonal reasons.

China's consumer price index (CPI), the main inflation gauge, eased to 7.7 percent in May, partly due to a foodstuff price decline as food prices fell 0.1 and 1.3 percent, respectively, in April and May month on month.

Food prices account for about a third of the CPI in China.

Snow havoc and the Spring Festival consumption spree had earlier pushed the CPI to an 11-year high of 8.7 percent in February.

(Xinhua News Agency June 18, 2008)

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