China is considering introducing food price controls and cracking down on speculation and hoarding to contain inflation.
A state newspaper is reporting that China’s top planning agency – the National Development and Reform Commission – is preparing to rein in food costs.
Consumer prices have just hit their fastest pace in more than two years with food prices up 10.1 percent from a year earlier.
The report in China Securities Journal quotes and unidentified source as saying: “Price increases, particularly overly rapid food price increases, are the main economic problem faced by the country at present.”
It reported that those found speculating on corn or cotton will be severely punished.
At a regular briefing on Tuesday, the commerce ministry blamed factors beyond China’s borders.
“Imported inflationary pressure has contributed to the big rise in China’s food prices. Global prices of grains, cotton and edible oil have been rising noticeably,” spokesman Yao Jian said.