(Bloomberg) -- China’s top economic planner said it will take measures to prevent rapid pork-price increases when it deems appropriate, following steady gains the past three months for the key component of consumer inflation.

The National Development & Reform Commission will use tools such as adjusting reserves, it told representatives of pork and slaughter companies during a meeting, according to a statement released Monday. The NDRC also said it will work in coordination with other agencies to “severely punish illegal activities including fabrication and spread of information about rallying prices and price gouging.”

China Hog Stocks Rise After Report of Government Plan for Prices

The commission asked major hog farmers to maintain normal output, sell hogs when they are ready for the market and not hoard them, according to the statement. The meeting concluded that irrational hoarding sentiment has been a major factor behind recent price increases for China’s most popular protein. Pork rallied 28% from mid-March through late June, according to government data.

There’s been supply issues of late involving pork, which has the biggest weighting among foodstuffs in China’s consumer price index and could pose broader inflation risks. A price slump last year has been a key factor for subdued overall growth in consumer prices.

Current hog production capacity is overall reasonable and ample, according to the NDRC statement, saying that with weak consumption there’s no foundation for a sustained significant rise in hog prices. It added representatives attending the meeting vowed to keep a normal output pace. 

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.