China to auction 20,000 tonnes of pork from state reserves

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BEIJING, March 19 (Xinhua) — China has allocated 20,000 tonnes of emergency pork reserve from the country’s central inventory to regions hardest-hit by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) including Wuhan and other cities in Hubei Province, in an effort to keep pork prices stable, an official said Thursday.

A total of 2,000 tonnes of the emergency pork has been transferred to the local reserve in Wuhan, Peng Shaozong, an official of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), told a press conference.

The move, along with the six rounds of the release of frozen pork from the central reserves since the Chinese New Year holiday and another one scheduled this week, is expected to help stabilize market expectations and ensure supply for the staple meat, according to Peng.

Pork prices have retreated from recent highs under enhanced efforts to counter the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, Peng said, citing price declines seen in supermarkets monitored by the NDRC.

Peng said that pork prices would continue to moderate as hog production recovers, and consumer prices are likely to remain within a reasonable range for the year.

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