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Officials assure supplies, stable prices

By LIU ZHIHUA | China Daily | Updated: 2023-01-20 08:49

A consumer shopping at a supermarket in Qingzhou, Shandong province. [Photo by Wang Jilin/For China Daily]

Amid a revival of demand for consumer goods in the offline market, the weeklong Spring Festival holiday will see both sufficient supplies rich in variety and price stability, officials said on Thursday.

Sheng Qiuping, vice-minister of commerce, said at a news conference in Beijing that the authorities concerned have stepped up efforts to promote consumption while also increasing supplies of goods and services.

"We will deal with the developing situation and tasks related to COVID-19 prevention and control, and work relentlessly to ensure supply and promote consumption during the Spring Festival holiday, so that people can enjoy a happy and peaceful break," he said.

The Ministry of Commerce has guided major local distribution networks to strengthen coordination with production bases and expand sourcing channels to increase supply.

Combined daily vegetable supplies in the eight largest wholesale marketplaces in Beijing have reached 22,000 metric tons, while that for pork exceeded 600 tons. The combined vegetable inventory of the five major wholesale marketplaces in Jiangxi province has reached 9,000 tons while in Shenyang, Liaoning province, the inventory of its three major wholesale marketplaces has exceeded 7,000 tons, Sheng said.

Shaanxi province, Jinan in Shandong province and Yinchuan in the Ningxia Hui autonomous region have released 23,500 tons, 18,000 tons and 10,000 tons of vegetables, respectively, from their reserves recently. Yinchuan has also released 500 tons of meat from local reserves.

Chen Zhijiang, a senior official with the State Administration for Market Regulation, said the SAMR has taken several measures to stabilize prices.

The SAMR will keep a close eye on any unreasonable changes in prices of key goods like foods and energy and travel-related services, in order to counter market-disrupting behaviors that may undermine market stability, he said.

The MOC is encouraging trading and distribution enterprises to maintain normal operations during the holiday, and wholesale marketplaces, supermarkets, e-commerce platforms and delivery enterprises are expected to provide services as normally as possible over the holiday.

Municipalities like Beijing and Shanghai, and provinces like Guangdong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang have rolled out measures to encourage working during the holiday. Special subsidies will be offered to people working during the holiday.

Operations of various markets are currently stable. The Commerce Ministry is prioritizing works related to reviving and expanding consumption, and has also made plans to hold 300 events together with various authorities and industry associations to promote consumption throughout the year, said Sheng, the vice-minister of commerce.

He also said holiday inventories of daily necessities at large wholesale markets and supermarket chains in various places have increased by 20 percent to 30 percent compared with the average level of normal periods. The increase is about 10 percent year-on-year.

On Wednesday, prices of edible oils and grains stayed flat from a week ago, and the prices of meats fluctuated only marginally. The price of pork, for instance, declined 2.7 percent, while that of beef increased 0.5 percent and mutton remained unchanged.

The average price of 30 varieties of vegetables rose 9.2 percent from a week ago but declined 5 percent year-on-year in the context of Chinese Lunar New Year.

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