BEIJING (Reuters) – A city in southern China is selling a limited quantity of pork at discounted prices to help consumers cope with soaring prices, as the world’s top pork-eating nation deals with a meat shortage caused by the death of pigs due to African swine fever.

From Sept. 1, people in Nanning, the capital of the southwestern Guangxi region, can buy up to 1 kg of pork a day at a discount of more than 10% to the average market price over the previous 10 days, said the state-backed Nanning Evening News on Sunday.

Pork prices in Nanning rose to 40 yuan ($5.64) per kg last week, according to industry website ZhuE.

China’s hog herd, the world’s largest, has shrunk by about a third since a year ago because of swine fever outbreak, according to official data, though industry participants say the numbers are likely to be much higher.

Retail pork prices began to surge in June, hitting a record in early August, and rose to a national average of 35.12 yuan per kg in the week ending Aug. 21, according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. That is up 57% from a year earlier.

The discount in Nanning will be offered on four products – lean meat, front and hind leg meat, pork belly and pork ribs – at 10 wet markets in the city.

People in southwestern China have the highest levels of pork consumption in the country. However, Guangxi is one of China’s poorest regions.

The report added that production cycle of live hogs is relatively long and a recovery in supply would take time, therefore requiring a short-term market intervention.

The move comes ahead of the Mid-Autumn festival next week and the week-long National Day holidays in early October.

(Reporting by Dominique Patton; editing by Christian Schmollinger)