Business, Economics and Jobs

Rising food prices in China

(How have thigns changed on the Chinese dinner table?) They've changed a lot and for the better, most say. One farmer told me twenty years ago they ate what the pigs ate and now they get vegetables every meal. But there's a growing middle class in China which is expecting to have meat at almost every meal, which has driven up the price for pork, a favorite meat�which would've only been had once a month a bit back. (What's the effect?) The effect is on supply and demand, the price goes up and if the supply doesn't keep up�there was a pig epidemic over the summer�the price of pork goes up. (What's the bottom line?) It's different for different classes, and more Chinese are moving into a class where they have a disposable income. In some cases, some middle class Chinese are starting to encounter obesity issues a bit too. But for those not so privileged, they have to cut back a bit. One farmer told me he used to raise enough money to send his son to college but now with food prices up so much he's barely making enough money to eat, because the price of fertilizers affects him. (Is the Chinese government worried about unrest?) I think the government is always worried about potential unrest, especially with the lead up to the Olympics. But in recent years, the government of China has been good about PR with China's lowest income people. Because they've done that, the people are willing to be patient and believe the government.

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