It's 4 a.m., and the Xinfadi wholesale market is bustling with noise and excitement.
The prices of vegetables, pork and eggs, which drove overall commodity prices high during the past few months, have fallen. The Central Government has carried out several measures to reduce food prices; for example, by reducing transportation costs.
Vegetable dealer Shi Yonggan has just arrived at Xinfadi market after a 14-hour drive from Qingdao in Shandong Province.
"In the past, I have had to think about which route I should take, because only some of the highway exits are green channels. Now, all of them are green channels. I don't have to pay any toll money at all. It saves me 700 to 800 yuan for one trip."
Liu Tong, Director of the Market Statistics Department at the Xinfadi market, says vegetable prices have dropped after the recent increase, and now they will remain stable.
"At the beginning of this year, vegetable prices were relatively high. And now they are lower than the prices during the same period in 2008, 2009 and 2010. This result is caused by all these favorable measures."
The National Development and Reform Committee said November's CPI rose by 4.2 percent, the lowest percentage increase during the last 11 months. Zhou Wangjun, deputy director of the committee's Pricing Department says this is the outcome of the Central Government's macroeconomic controls.
"This round of macro-control measures has achieved positive effects. The prices of vegetables, pork and eggs have fallen rapidly, which can guarantee the food supply during the winter."
He says the CPI for December and next January will increase slightly.
"Because the New Year holiday and Spring Festival are in the same month, the demand for all kinds of agricultural products will increase in January. The uncertain weather conditions during winter also pose temporary difficulties for the vegetable supply. Therefore, the prices will not fall in January."
The decreased food prices have dismissed people's concerns about inflation. But a new problem has emerged with some vegetables not selling well in certain areas of the country. Now, the government is planning to set up a mechanism to protect farmers' interest.
"Based on the successful experience of Shanghai and East China, we are planning to build an insurance mechanism covering several kinds of basic vegetables, including cabbages, radishes and potatoes. The government invests an amount of money, and the farmers pay some, too. When the prices fall below the farmers' cost, the government and the insurance company will give them compensation."
For CRI, I'm Wang Jing.