Soaring pork prices keep China’s inflation at 7-year high

BEIJING — Soaring pork prices that nearly doubled in December over a year ago kept inflation at a seven-year high despite government efforts to ease meat shortages caused by a disease outbreak, official data showed Thursday.

Surging inflation adds to challenges for communist leaders who are trying to shore up slowing economic growth and resolve a tariff war with Washington.

The price of pork rose 97% over a year earlier despite increased imports of China’s staple meat and the release of thousands of tons from government stockpiles.

Food prices rose 17.4% and overall consumer inflation was 4.5%, well above the ruling Communist Party’s official target of 3%. That matched November’s inflation, the highest since 2012.

China produces and consumes two-thirds of the world’s pork but supplies plunged as authorities destroyed pigs and blocked shipments to contain an outbreak of African swine fever that was confirmed in August 2018. Farmers have allowed herds to dwindle.

Global pork prices have climbed as Chinese importers buy more from Canada, Europe and other suppliers.

Beijing announced in September it would lift punitive tariffs imposed on U.S. pork and soybeans during its trade war with Washington. That would ease pressure on Chinese pig farmers who use soy as animal feed.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast in October that China’s 2020 pork production would fall 25% from a year earlier. The forecast gap of 12 million metric tons would be equivalent to almost the entire U.S. annual production.

Authorities destroyed 390,000 pigs last year and a total of 1.2 million since the start of the outbreak, the Agriculture Ministry reported Wednesday.

Forecasters expect shortages to persist because many Chinese farmers have stopped raising pigs and others will need time to rebuild their herds.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Leprechaun Joe’ to rappel down Stantec building in Red Deer for third year

Make-A-Wish Foundation’s Rope for Hope event is July 18

Lethbridge College evacuated as result of threat

Police are investigating a report of a threat at Lethbridge College. The… Continue reading

RCMP looking for wanted man believed to be in central Alberta

Wetaskiwin RCMP are looking for a man facing murder charges, and they… Continue reading

Red Deer mayor’s recognition awards accepting nominations

Candidates can be nominated in five categories before March 9

Country music fans enjoy free concert at Red Deer mall, ahead of ACMA awards

Fans like to get up close and personal and that’s exactly what… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Feb. 1 A Jump Rope Competition will be held at the Abbey… Continue reading

David Marsden: Let’s see success at Westerner Park

It’s encouraging that Westerner Park has admitted it needs the support of… Continue reading

Majority of Canadian boards had no female members in 2016 and 2017: StatCan

About 60 per cent of Canadian boards were composed entirely of men… Continue reading

Canadian companies feel impact of coronavirus as it strikes across sectors

MONTREAL — Canadian companies are starting to feel the pinch of the… Continue reading

New pressure on Prince Andrew to help Epstein investigation

LONDON — The pressure on Britain’s disgraced Prince Andrew increased Tuesday after… Continue reading

Lacombe to spend $15,000 over five years on stocking Len Thompson Pond

Popularity of facility means further stocking necessary

City council in Prince Albert, Sask., votes to give plastic bags the boot

PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. — A city in northern Saskatchewan is believed to… Continue reading

Alberta’s climate plan part of cabinet decision on new oilsands mine: Wilkinson

OTTAWA — Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says cabinet’s decision on a massive… Continue reading

Most Read