China's producer prices stall in June, fuel deflation worries

Pork prices have surged in China as the country's pig herds are hit by African swine fever which has in turn caused the cost of other meats to rise

The consumer price index (CPI), which measures the prices of a select basket of consumer goods and services, rose 2.7% year-on-year in June, the same growth as the month before, which had marked the highest level since February 2018, according to data (link in Chinese) from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

In June, fruit prices hit a record high by climbing 42.7 percent from a lower base a year ago and 5.1 percent month on month. "Falling producer prices in China also have the potential to spark global deflation fears".

Beijing is fast-tracking more infrastructure projects but prices for some construction materials remain lacklustre.

The price of pork expanded 3.6 percent month on month due to tight supply.

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"The PBOC and the economy will likely maintain an easing bias, rather than tightening", Chang Jian, Barclays Bank PLC's chief China Economist said on Bloomberg TV, noting that the central bank has been flooding the markets with liquidity after the takeover of a small lender caused inter-bank lending issues. On a monthly basis, consumer prices were down 0.1% following the flat reading a month earlier. If one or all these banks from United States dollars dealings, it could put significant downward pressure on China's bank stocks.

Non-food prices rose 1.4 percent year on year, 0.2 percentage points lower than that of May.

Analysts polled by Reuters expected consumer prices to rise 2.7%, matching the pace seen in May.

Food prices bounced 6.1 per cent in June from previous year, led by a 21.1 per cent jump in the cost of pork ― which also carried upwards the prices of other meats such as chicken.

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