In preparation for Chinese New Year, which falls in early February, the Chinese government, as every year, is making special efforts to ensure increased supply of vegetables and pork to the markets. But this week an unusual announcement was made in Beijing by the authorities, calling on citizens to start stockpiling groceries on a daily basis, in the face of the coming winter threats.

The announcement was so unusual that social media in China did not accept this explanation, linking the authorities’ call for full stockpiles, to the tension with Taiwan and a real fear of a flare-up there. These hypotheses were described by one of the Communist Party-backed newspapers as an exaggeration, and clarified that the government call was intended to advance a solution to a case of supply shortages across China.

The Chinese government explains that what is behind this appeal to citizens is the fear of extreme weather, following last month’s heavy rains, which wiped out crops in the country’s major agricultural areas. In addition to the weather threat, there is a resurgence of the corona plague, which has brought with it tight closures under China’s zero-infection policy. The combination of these two led to sharp price increases in vegetable prices, to the point of a substantial fear of a real shortage.

Last week, there were unusual increases in the prices of agricultural products. The prices of cucumber, spinach, and broccoli doubled relative to prices in early October, and the price of spinach, for example, rose higher than the price of a piece of pork – according to the vegetable price index published in China. Although there has been a moderation in vegetable prices this week, Chinese economists still estimate that inflation in the country will accelerate in October, for the first time in five months.

By Editor

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