China's Ministry of Commerce published a seasonal notice on Monday (November 1) encouraging authorities to do a good job in ensuring food supplies and stable prices ahead of winter, following a recent spike in the prices of vegetables and a growing outbreak of COVID-19.
However there were no signs of shortages at two markets that Reuters visited in Beijing on Wednesday. Residents said they were not worried about possible shortages.
Government advice to residents to purchase supplies ahead of the winter is issued every year, said Ma Wenfeng, an analyst at A.G. Holdings Agricultural Consulting.
"It is necessary because there is often heavy snowfall in the winter ... and it seems there will be some uncertainty about the weather conditions this year. So I think this is quite a normal matter," he said.
State media has sought to reassure the public that there are plentiful supplies. China's state broadcaster CCTV reported on Tuesday (November 2) that there had been some "over-interpretation" of the ministry's advice.