Price regulators have once again moved to strengthen their control over the country's edible oil prices to prevent a rise triggered by a decline in supplies, a newspaper said Thursday.
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China's national economic planner, has held talks with five major edible oil producers to ensure price stability, the 21st Century Business Herald newspaper reported Thursday, citing sources from the enterprises.
The five companies, including China Oil & Foodstuffs Co. (COFCO), China's largest food manufacturer, and Yihai Kerry, the biggest cooking oil producer in China, have been ordered to report prices for their products at regular intervals, said the Guangdong-based newspaper.
The talks mark the second time in a month for the NDRC to take direct action to control edible oil prices. On July 24, the commission held talks with COFCO and Yihai Kerry on edible oil price stability.
Starting from Aug. 15, all five companies will be required to report factory, wholesale and retail prices for their products to the NDRC every Wednesday, the paper's sources said.
Prices of edible oil are on the rise in the international market due to severe ongoing droughts in the United States and a climate anomaly in Brazil and Argentina.
The NDRC move aims to remove any possibility of a domestic edible oil price increase, as a rise could have a significant impact on those vulnerable to price fluctuations.
However, the price curb could also hurt edible oil producers, who were planning for price hikes as a way to offset increased production costs, said the report, citing sources from the enterprises.
China's consumer price index (CPI), a key gauge of inflation, grew to 1.8 percent year on year in July, the slowest rate since February 2010, according to official data.