Chinese authorities have tapped pork reserves to stabilize prices, but merchants claim that the measure will not help much.
China is the world’s largest consumer of pork, using it as a staple in a wide variety of dishes.
According to Nikkei Asia, pork prices have been rising in recent months, surging 22.5% year-on-year in August after spiking 20.2% in July. The reason is output reductions.
Pork is the heaviest by weight among foodstuffs in China’s consumer price index. Official data released on September 9 showed that the index rose 2.5% year-on-year in August.
Pork price hikes so far this year have prompted the Chinese Communist Party to use the national reserves to stabilize prices.
On September 8, the CCP announced the release of the first batch of frozen pork reserves this year. This attempt is aimed at adding more supplies to stabilize the pork market.
Despite the regime’s attempts, meat merchants have warned that the release of frozen pork reserves may not help much.
Nikkei, citing a seller in Shanghai, said that Chinese often prefer fresh pork to frozen.
In addition, households these days are buying less than before the lockdown in April because their incomes have not improved but pork prices are rising.
Deng Shaorui, an analyst at Huatai Securities, said that regime intervention is likely to ease supply concerns only in the short term.
He told the Shenzhen Securities Times that the meat prices are going to stay at high levels due to cooler weather and seasonal reasons.
Pork prices in China have been rising steadily since May after the pig population declined.Data from the China Pig Network showed that the national pig price on September 13 was 23.65 yuan ($3.41) per kilogram (2.2 pounds), an increase of 84.2% on-year.