Chinese Reports Slight Drop of Agri-food Prices in November

CHINA - A senior statistician with the National Bureau of Statistics of China (NBS), Yu Qiumei, said prices in the food category, which accounts for roughly one-third in the weighting of China's CPI calculation, edged down slightly as a whole in November.
calendar icon 10 December 2013
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Prices of grain, beef, mutton, milk and fruit rose month on month, but prices of pork, fresh vegetables, eggs and aquatic products contracted from the previous month.

November's vegetable prices registered a 3.8-per cent contraction from October, but Dr Qiumei stressed the differences in vegetable prices among various regions. The northeast and northwest of China saw vegetable prices rise month on month due to snow and low temperatures, while vegetable prices fell in most of China.

The moderation in year-on-year CPI inflation in November was due to lower food inflation, according to a research note by Zhi Xiaojia and Lu Ting, China economists with Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Food inflation fell to 5.9 per cent year on year from 6.5 per cent in October. Vegetable price inflation dropped to 22.3 per cent year on year from October's 31.5 per cent and contributed 59 basis points to the 3.0 per cent CPI.

Vegetable and pork prices dropped 3.8 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively in November.

Zhang Liqun, a researcher with the Development Research Center of the State Council, China's cabinet, said overall prices for November were stable and factors favorable to stable food prices are increasing.

Seasonal factors behind price fluctuations of fresh vegetables are decreasing and CPI inflation could ease further, he said.

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