China govt. to release pork reserves from Thursday

China's state-run media says the central government will start releasing its pork reserves from Thursday to ensure a steady supply during the upcoming holidays.

Demand for pork typically increases around this time of year as it's an essential element in Chinese cuisine.

The move comes ahead of the Mid-Autumn Festival holidays starting on Saturday.

Xinhua news agency reports that local authorities in some provincial-level regions have already started the release of pork reserves.

Pork prices in China have risen sharply in recent months amid tighter supply.

The national statistics bureau says prices surged in July by more than 25 percent from the previous month.

It attributes the gains to cuts in production capacity, farmers' holding hogs back from market and a recovery in consumer demand.

In past years, Beijing has released stockpiles when pork prices rose. It was seen as an apparent move to prevent public criticism of the government.