Coronavirus: Price of food, consumables spike in China

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Women wearing protective face masks and raincoats buy foods at a supermarket in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province, Feb. 10, 2020.Women wearing protective face masks and raincoats buy foods at a supermarket in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province, Feb. 10, 2020. Chinatopix via AP

The price of food has risen in China as the country continues to battle the scourge of the coronavirus which has been ravaging the country since December, CNN has reported.

A large part of the country has been under lockdown since January when the coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan, Hubei province. The virus has since spread to other parts of the country. As of Monday, 40,235 confirmed cases and 909 deaths have been reported in China.

Meanwhile, the disease has also spread to 25 countries where 319 cases and one death have been confirmed.

The coronavirus outbreak has been driving the cost of food and almost everything else in China upwards, putting pressure on household expenses.

According to Chinese National Bureau of Statistics, the nation’s consumer price inflation hit 5.4 per cent in January.

It said the prices rose last month at its fastest rate since October 2011, when China was battling to control months of soaring inflation.

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The agency said the price of food such as pork, which makes up nearly a third of spending by Chinese consumers, has hiked.

It said the price of pork, a main item in Chinese diet, was already on the high even before the coronavirus outbreak due to the scare of swine disease.

The price of pork had skyrocketed to a staggering 116 per cent as compared to a year ago.

Meanwhile vegetables are now more expensive by 17 per cent.

Health items have also been affected in the inflation as it rose by 2.3 per cent.

The country has also been recording shortage of health materials especially masks, which has been on high demand globally since the beginning of the outbreak.

The statistics bureau acknowledged the role coronavirus is playing in the price surge.

It said while the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday has had some effect on the soaring prices, the coronavirus outbreak had also been a major factor.

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(TodayNg)