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Kunming government intervenes in local noodle market

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Rising food prices in Kunming have spurred the municipal government to take the unusual step of intervening in the local noodle market, setting price caps on the countless bowls of noodles that are a staple for much of the city's population.

The new regulations set forth by the Kunming Development and Reform Commission went into effect on May 20, freezing prices until the end of October for wheat noodles and noodle products including mixian, juanfen and ersi.

Like the rest of China, Yunnan is experiencing accelerating inflation that is primarily driven by increased consumer spending and soaring real estate prices.

Moreover, most of Yunnan continues to suffer from the worst drought in memory, which has destroyed crops across the province.

The controls will freeze wholesale flour prices as well as the prices of individual bowls of noodles at restaurants and street stalls in Kunming. Landlords will also be prohibited from raising rents for noodle restaurants and stalls above last year's levels.

In addition to noodles, the new regulations also address rising milk, bottled water and animal feed prices by making vendors apply to raise prices on these goods.

Although artificial price ceilings are not typically sustainable, officials may be hoping to allay public concerns and possibly prevent speculative behavior such as that that drove up garlic prices across China by up to 600 percent between March of last year and February of this year.

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The boom in the real estate market in china may be signs of another economic bubble. Who will have the power to save the average chinese once it bursts? definitely do not count on those irresponsible and corrupted governing officials.

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