Pork prices in China are rising at the slowest pace in more than a year

A breeder feeds young pigs at a pig farm on May 13, 2020 in Baiji, Guizhou Province, China.

Optical China Group | Getty Images

BEIJING – China’s CPI rose slightly in September as food prices rose, even as pork price rises sharply slowed.

China’s National Bureau of Statistics said Thursday that its consumer price index rose 1.7% last month compared to a year ago. That number was just below the 1.8% rise that analysts had forecast in a Reuters poll, and less than the 2.4% increase in August.

Overall food prices remained high, up 7.9% in September compared to a year ago, with fresh vegetable prices up 17.2%.

Pork prices rose 25.5%, but at a slower rate than the more than 100% increases seen in most of the past 12 months. Pork prices rose 52.6% year on year in August. The September print recorded the slowest pace of growth since June 2019, according to Census Bureau data.

African swine fever has wiped out herds of pigs in China, leading to a shortage of staple meat for the country of 1.4 billion people.

The National Customs Agency revealed, on Tuesday, that China’s imports of pork more than doubled in the first three quarters of last year compared to last year. Beef imports increased by 38.8% during that period. China’s imports of US agricultural products during the same time period It is up 44.4% from a year ago.

The producer price index fell 2.1 percent in September from a year ago, larger than the 1.8 percent decline predicted by a Reuters poll.

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CNBC’s Yen Nee Lee contributed to this story.

Thelma Binder

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