Consumer prices in China accelerated to almost eight-year high in November as the African swine fever epidemic caused pork prices to rise by 110.2 per cent from a year earlier, data showed Tuesday.

The consumer price index (CPI), a key gauge of retail inflation, came in at 4.5 percent for November, up from 3.8 percent in October and the highest rate since January 2012, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said.

The widespread outbreak of swine fever since August 2018 has disrupted the pork supply in China, sending the prices of other forms of protein like beef, lamb, mutton, chicken, duck and eggs rose by between 11.8 per cent and 25.7 per cent last month from November 2018.

According to a report filed by the South China Morning Post, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs confirmed on Monday that China’s pig herd increased by 2 per cent in November compared with the previous month. This was the second consecutive month of a rise in the breeding herd inventory, with sow stocks up 4 per cent on October.

With China’s pig herd down by about 40 percent, authorities last week launched a plan to restore pork production to pre-swine fever levels by 2021.

China’s consumer inflation target for 2019 is around three percent.

The producer price index (PPI), an important barometer of the industrial sector that measures the cost of goods at the factory gate, showed prices fell 1.4 percent on-year in November.

The figure was slightly higher than the anticipated 1.5 percent decline in a Bloomberg News poll but nevertheless marked five consecutive months of decline, suggesting continued weakness in the world’s second-largest economy.

(With input from agencies)