(Bloomberg) -- Chinese pork prices tumbled more than 6% last week despite efforts by authorities to boost the market, adding to growing concerns around deflation in Asia’s biggest economy.

Average national prices for the country’s most-popular protein are now at their lowest since April 2022 and have fallen by almost a quarter from this year’s high in early August.

Beijing’s announcement in late November that it would buy pork for the nation’s strategic reserves — its third round of purchases this year — hasn’t managed to stem the slide. Authorities are also urging farmers to sell hogs when they are ready for market and not to hoard livestock.

China’s economic woes were highlighted over the weekend as official figures showed consumer prices fell at the steepest pace last month in three years, and producer costs also dropped more than expected. It’s not just pork that’s under pressure: farmers in some provinces are being forced to let fresh vegetables rot in their fields as demand wanes.

The outlook for the nation’s massive pork industry remains bearish. Consumption is expected to be sluggish after the Spring Festival holidays in mid-February, while hog output will likely rise, the agriculture ministry said last week.

People’s Bank of China Governor Pan Gongsheng said last month that the decline in the consumer price index in October was mainly due to a drop in food prices, especially pork. Deflation is dangerous for China because it can lead to a downward spiral in economic activity.

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