- Title: Chinese consumers worry about pork price ahead of holiday
- Date: 30th September 2019
- Summary: PIG PICTURE ON SCREEN
- Embargoed: 14th October 2019 04:56
- Keywords: Pork pigs Chinese consumers supermarket pig farm
- Location: BEIJING, SHANGHAI, CHINA
- City: BEIJING, SHANGHAI, CHINA
- Country: China
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Reuters ID: LVA002AYUKPJB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: China's supermarkets are topping up their meat counters with frozen pork from state reserves, after prices of the nation's favourite protein source surged to budget-busting levels, threatening to mar this week's National Day festivities.
Pork, which has a prominent place at nearly every Chinese dinner table, is in short supply after a deadly virus infected and killed millions of hogs across China over the last year.
Beijing has stepped in to try and quell prices that have jumped to almost double what they were a year ago and are still climbing daily, releasing 30,000 tonnes of pork in three batches over the last fortnight.
That appears to have dampened further price increases for now and helped sales, at least in the capital Beijing.
Cheaper meat will be a relief to many ahead of the holidays. Chinese typically gather for elaborate meals during festivals, and most of the repasts will feature pork in some form.
Shoppers in Beijing said they will not skimp on meat during the holidays, whatever the price, though they have been reducing their intake at regular mealtimes.
"I might eat four to five times per month, but now perhaps I would only eat once a month," says Mr. Gao who only gave us his last name.
Many people are substituting chicken, duck or beef for some of their pork intake. With pork being so pricey that even more expensive meats now appear affordable.
State sales will have limited impact on prices overall, said Miranda Zhou, an analyst at Euromonitor, with total reserve volumes sold in recent weeks just a "drop in the ocean" in a country that has huge consumption on pork.
(Production: Thomas Sun)
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