China's bulk commodity inventories increase after government "just in case" proposal triggers chaos Reuters

2021-11-13 06:45:59 By : Mr. bin鈥哹in Li鈥哸ng

Beijing, November 3 (Reuters)-On Wednesday, shoppers in Beijing hoarded cabbage, rice, and flour for the winter. The government urged people to keep basic commodities for emergencies, but the government assured them that after After some time, they have enough supply. Panic buying.

The Ministry of Commerce issued a seasonal notice on Monday to encourage the authorities to do a good job in food supply and price stabilization before the winter after the recent surge in vegetable prices and the escalating COVID-19 epidemic.

But the ministry advised families to stock up on daily necessities in case of emergency, which caused confusion, and some people flocked to supermarkets to buy extra cooking oil and rice.

According to official media reports, China’s cabinet said on Wednesday night that it would guarantee the supply of daily necessities such as meat and vegetables and stabilize prices.

China's instructions also pushed up domestic edible oil futures and Malaysian palm oil.

"This will be a cold winter, and we want to make sure we have enough food," said a woman outside a supermarket in central Beijing, putting rice on a bicycle.

There was a long line of cabbage stalls in the supermarket, and people bought vegetables that were traditionally stored at home and eaten in the winter.

But many residents said that there is no need to buy more food than usual.

A Beijing retiree named Shi who left another supermarket in Beijing said: "Where can I store vegetables at home? My daily needs are enough."

Others said they did not expect any shortages, especially in the capital.

Ma Wenfeng, an analyst at AG Holdings, an agricultural consulting company, said that the government will issue recommendations every year for residents to purchase supplies before winter.

"This is necessary because there is often heavy snow in winter... There seems to be some uncertainty in the weather this year. So I think this is a normal thing," he said.

The China National Meteorological Center predicts that the temperature will drop in the northwest, southwest and most of the central and eastern regions over the weekend.

China’s state broadcaster China Central Television reported on Tuesday that the ministry’s recommendations were “over-interpreted”.

Zhu Xiaoliang, Director of the Department of Consumption Promotion of the Ministry of Commerce, said: "At present, the supply of daily necessities in various places is sufficient and should be fully guaranteed."

Some cities such as Tianjin in the north and Wuhan in the south have released winter vegetables from their stocks and sold them at lower prices in supermarkets.

But on Wednesday, some panic buying seemed to continue, and some people complained online that supermarket shelves were empty, mainly due to the growing COVID-19 epidemic.

On Wednesday, China reported the highest number of locally transmitted COVID-19 cases in the past three months, including nine new infections in Beijing, which was the largest single-day increase in the capital this year.

"Even bulk rice was robbed (shelves)," a resident in the southern city of Nanjing wrote on China's Weibo Weibo.

“The occurrence of the COVID-19 outbreak is uncertain. Once it occurs, people’s livelihoods will be affected. This is why people hoard winter supplies to avoid the impact of COVID-19,” said Ma of AG Holdings.

Chinese authorities usually respond to COVID-19 cases by locking down entire communities where COVID-19 cases have occurred and restricting movement in and out of affected areas.

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