The seventh attempt to reform China’s salt monopoly since 2000 has made little progress since its announcement in November, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing analysts and industry sources. About 115 state firms comprise the monopoly on production, selling to state distributors that buy the salt for US$82 a ton – well above production costs – and sell it to supermarkets for up to US$322 a ton. But while the monopoly keeps prices artificially high, retail prices for table salt are still lower than in many developed countries. Members of the monopoly, tasked by the government with ensuring all salt in China is iodized to promote healthy growth, warn that such reforms could carry health risks.
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