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Pork Prices Almost Double in 12 Months

China's corporate pork price rose 11.5 percent in July, making an 85.8 percent increase on the same month last year, according to figures from the People's Bank of China on Tuesday.

The corporate goods price, previously known as the wholesale price, refers to prices paid by domestic companies.

In a related development, July saw frozen pork rise 89.2 percent in price since July last year.

The soaring prices, due largely to short supply and mounting production costs, contributed significantly to China's 33-month-high CPI, which rose 5.6 percent from July last year. The key inflation indicator was well above the government-set alarm level of three percent.

The government has taken measures to curb soaring pork prices.

A branch of the China Development Bank (CDB) in the northern Hebei Province is discussing financial support for the New Hope Group, a major pig breeder in the southwestern Sichuan Province, and Beijing Qianxihe Food Group, a key pork supplier in the capital, in a project to supply six million pigs annually for Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei.

In order to minimize breeders' risks, pig insurance has been set up to cover almost every natural risk for farmers, an official with the China Insurance Regulatory Commission said.

Chen Weisheng, deputy director of the Livestock Husbandry Department of the Ministry of Agriculture, said in an online interview on Tuesday, "The pig breeding industry is recovering."

Chen said pig populations on major farms rose 7.3 percent in July from July last year, up 2.1 percent on the previous month.

Sales of pig feed in June rose six percent from June last year, with feed for sows up 5.6 percent, and that for young pigs up 13.5 percent, Chen said.

He was supported by Xu Xihe, deputy director of the Market Operation Department of the Ministry of Commerce, who said pork prices would stabilize as more pork would come on to the market soon.

Future pork supply lay in large and medium-scale pig farms, Chen said.

The number of larger farms was rising while the number of pigs raised in small farms was declining, Chen said.

"Small-scale breeding generates little profit so pig farmers seek other livelihoods," Chen said.

"The initial investment, for stock, feeds and facility construction, is huge," said Liu Geyang, a farmer who raised three pigs.

"Who knows what pork prices will be when the pigs are sold," he said.

(Xinhua News Agency August 15, 2007)

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- China Steps up Measures to Boost Pig Supply, Control Pork Prices
- Price of Pork Keeps on Rising

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