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China's farm produce prices drop


BEIJING - Prices of farm produce in 36 major Chinese cities declined for the third consecutive week, official data showed on Monday.

The Ministry of Commerce said in a statement that the average wholesale price for 18 vegetables fell 7.9 percent week on week, with the combined decline of the previous three weeks standing at 13.1 percent.

The ministry attributed the drop to warmer temperatures and increased supplies of vegetables.

Prices of cucumbers went down 18.7 percent, cabbages down 17 percent and green peppers down 14.4 percent, which led the declines.

The wholesale price of chickens grew 0.1 percent week on week, after declining for seven consecutive weeks.

The outbreak of H7N9 bird flu virus since the end of March has affected the country's consumption of chicken.

Prices of pork, the country's staple meat, dropped 0.7 percent week on week. The values of beef and mutton were relatively flat, according to the statement.

Food prices account for about one-third of the prices used to calculate China's consumer price index, a main gauge of inflation.

Prices of production materials picked up slightly.

The value of non-ferrous metal and rubber both gained 2.5 percent. Energy prices grew 0.4 percent, with a 1.3 percent rise registered in crude oil being the major contributor. Prices for steel edged down 0.2 percent, due to the increase of output and stock.