China releases 14,000 tonnes of pork from state reserves

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A pork vendor provides a shopper with plenty of choices at a supermarket in Nanchang, Jiangxi province, in late December. (File photo: Xinhua)

BEIJING, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- China on Friday released 14,000 tonnes of pork from its central reserves in a bid to ensure market supply amid efforts to fight the novel coronavirus outbreak, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

This was the sixth time that the country tapped into its pork reserves this year, with the total amounting to 130,000 tonnes.

Pork prices in China have soared as the African swine fever battered the country's pork industry, driving up consumer inflation. The situation was exacerbated as the epidemic outbreak led to travel restrictions in some cities, and disrupted hog production and distribution.

Prices of pork, a staple meat in China, surged 116 percent in January from one year earlier, and together with other food price rises, pushed the growth of the consumer price index to its highest level in more than eight years.

The ministry said more frozen pork reserves would be put onto the market in the future.