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Beijing City: New Grain and Oil Price Control Has Nothing To Do With U.S.-China Trade Friction  

On May 13, 2019, the official Beijing Municipal Development and Reform Commission (BMDRC) website released the “Beijing Grain and Oil Market Supply and Price Volatility Emergency Control Plan.”

On May 14, 2019, China Business News reported that the BMDRC stated that the grain and oil fluctuation emergency plan announced on May 13, 2019 has nothing to do with U.S.-China trade friction.

The Control Plan “is a work that has been promoted before and it is part of the long-term price control. The time of the release just happens to be at this time. [The Control Plan] has nothing to do with Sino-US trade friction,” said the person in charge at the BMDRC

The BMDRC stated that the price of grain can affect the price of hundreds of items. Food security is an important foundation for national security. Food prices such as grain can play a critical role in balancing the entire price level. China’s edible oil market is highly dependent on foreign countries.  Domestic and international market prices are closely linked. It is equally important to stabilize the supplies in the edible oil market and to [secure] price stability.

The Control Plan sets three warnings: green, yellow (year-on-year price increase of 5 to10 percent for grain and 10 to 20 percent for edible oil) and red (year-on-year price increase of over 10 percent for grain and over 20 percent for edible oil). The three warning area indicators trigger three levels of government intervention respectively. The intervention may be through organized sourcing, increasing supply, speeding up distribution, cracking down on illegal activities such as hoarding and raising prices, price emergency measures, temporary price interventions, subsidies, and other emergency assistance.

Source: China Business News, May 14, 2019