BEIJING, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) — Supply of daily necessities remains steady in major Chinese cities while authorities are stepping up efforts to ensure continuous supply and stable prices amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Inventory of daily necessities including meat, rice and cooking oil is generally sufficient in major cities across the country, according to the Ministry of Commerce (MOC).
MOC data showed that current reserves in Wuhan, the central Chinese city at the epicenter of the outbreak, can secure supply of rice and cooking oil for over 15 days, pork and eggs for over 10 days, and vegetables for about five days.
Supply of vegetables in 46 wholesale markets and supermarket franchises in Beijing ticked up about 10 percent during the Spring Festival holiday, while the eastern city of Nanjing kept a local government reserve of staple vegetables that can last seven to 10 days.
On the production front, output of winter and spring vegetables grew 2.7 percent year on year to 770,000 tonnes, according to data from 1,000 vegetable information sites monitored by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA).
In response to the groceries shopping spree in some cities, MOC official Wang Bin said that the government and the private sector are making all-out efforts to expand market supply of daily necessities and advised against panic shopping.
Wang said the government is taking measures to tackle logistic barriers and labor crunch caused by the outbreak. MARA analyst Zhang Jing stressed smoothing transportation as the next priority.
The government has pledged efforts to sustain continuous supply of necessities to coronavirus-stricken areas, with the National Development and Reform Commission arranging daily transport of vegetables, cooking oil, rice and flour to Wuhan.
Other measures include expanding production of winter and spring vegetables, as well as coordinating wholesale markets across the country to replenish supply of vegetables, meat and eggs in infection affected areas.
Supermarkets and online retailers including Walmart, Yonghui Superstores and Freshhema have vowed to ensure supply without raising prices during the holidays and despite the virus outbreak, said Wang.