Who was behind the panic buying of salt?

| April 2nd, 2011

From Netease: translated by Roy


Last 2 weeks, some cities in China were running short on salt due to the earthquake in Japan. March 17, salt in some supermarket was snatched within an hour. People felt depressed facing the empty salt shelf.

The earthquake in Japan caused the nuclear crisis. With the rumors like “Iodized salt can protect people from radioactivity”, “Chinese salt will be polluted by radiation.” spreading on the Internet and cell phones, people in China all joined into the wave of panic buying of salt.

By coincidence, the hot money played an interesting part in this wave. Yunan Salt & Salt Chemical’s share price shot up before the wave  and fell  right after.  Regulatory departments noticed that, but didn’t have concrete evidence to prove that the hot money is the decisive factor of this wave. But the hot money investors get involved in the stock speculation.

March 12, the Japanese government confirmed the nuclear crisis.

March 15th, Chen who worked in a computer company read a piece of news that as the nuclear crisis in Japan would influence the coast of Shandong, store some iodized salt and sea tangle for relatives and friends, don’t eat seafood for a year. Chen sent the news to his friends. Rumors were spreading on the internet and by telephone, which caused the panic buying of salt.

According to media analysis, some hot money investors held the Salt’s shares in advance and spread the rumors. The panic buying stimulated growth of some shares in “A” share market. Public data showed that Yunan Salt & Salt Chemical’s share price was 12.83 yuan on March 15. 13,960,000 yuan flowed in that day, 9,080,000 is hot money. The trading volume of Yunan Salt & Salt Chemical increased to 93,230,000 from 21,950,000 in a day.

Call volume increased in Zhejiang on 16, 17th , due to the spread of rumors. Supermarkets in Guangdong, Zhejiang, Shanghai ran short on the salt. The trading volume of salt increased by 10 times, which led to a national panic buying soon.

The wave influenced the stock market. Yunan Salt & Salt Chemical’s share price increased to 15.10 on 17th from 12.83 on 15th. It increased by 18% while the largest growth of Shanghai composite index and Shenzhen composite index was about 3%.

Among the 5 business departments who bought the most of the trading volume, 4 were from Zhejiang. The hot money of Zhejiang held 50% of the share with 1.1 billion yuan trading volume, which increased to 2.86 billion yuan. Meantime, Peiling Preserve Szechuan Pickle relative to salt rose by 9.5%, with a 23.35 turnover rate.

On March 28, China National Salt Industry and National Development and Reform Commission responded and the wave stopped. Yunan Salt & Salt Chemical’s share price fell that day and continued to fall after the weekends on 21.

Some principals of Securities Regulatory Bureau said their investigation showed that all hot money investors bought high and sold low the next day. Some blind investors promoted the wave and suffered.

A professor Wang Wei advised that, the department concerned should prevent the “cross-infection” of share prices and the supply of commodities.

The director of Zhejiang Securities Regulatory Bureau said they should strengthen supervision and crack down the speculation of shares. The principal of Shenzhen Stock Exchange said they were supervising the unusual trading. They would take measures and present to competent authorities once found illegal trading.

On 17, some investors suggested suspending the strange Yunan Salt & Salt Chemical. Some people thought management layer should investigate the rumors and the possible organization behind the curtain.

It’s not rare that Department of Securities Commission scotches rumors. In March, 2008, UK and Ireland investigate the rumors that influenced the share prices. At that time some share prices fell by 20% in the market of the 2 counties. Even the relative public companies’ clarity didn’t make a difference.

14 Comments | Leave a comment | Comment feed

  1. Why oh Why? says:

    Someone explain to me, when the fuck could salt ever aid against radiation?

    Never heard of such a thing in my life. Yet these savages go haywire for this shit. You could tell em rubbing horse shit on their faces will give them good luck, and they’d probably believe that too.

    • Huzhang says:

      The tiny amount of iodine could protect the thyroid from radiation, in theory. Of course to get that much iodine from salt you’d have to eat like a fucking bag a day.

    • someone says:

      most of them bought the salt is because Chinese/Korean believe the ocean will be radiation polluted.
      Thus salt which is extracted from the ocean was not clean…

      20% salt in China comes from ocean, do not know korean though.

  2. Huzhang says:

    >State media not sensationalist
    >Private citizens make their own sensationalism instead
    >Millions of tards believe it

    Fuck you internet

  3. zzzz says:


  4. Curren$y says:


  5. Dr. K says:

    Potassium Iodide (KI) is the supplement used to protect from radiation poisioning. There are small quantities in table salt; however the KI in table salt is only enough to keep the thyroid working properly and has no protective benefit.

    However, since the most people do not know this, they think that eating a lot of table salt will help.

  6. dilladonuts says:

    you guy’s are retarded, they are not buying salt to protect against radiation, they are buying salt because they don’t want contaminated radiated salt as they fear clean salt will not be avail in the future.

    • Huzhang says:

      No u

      A good portion of salt hoarding is indeed based on misconceptions that it protects against radiation. Even the people who are buying out of fear salt will become irradiated are retarded because

      1. There is no way enough radioactive material can leak to contaminate salt on China’s coasts after dispersal in the Pacific, this was confirmed by China’s nuclear regulatory agency
      2. Over 80% of China’s salt is mineral salt from state-owned mines, not sea salt

  7. wolaishuoshuokan says:




    • Huzhang says:

      Don’t listen too much to internet fearmongering. They didn’t have a choice. Every expert has said there’s no health or food safety danger posed once that water is diluted in the ocean, as the cesium content is negligible and iodine decays after 8 days.

  8. Mark says:

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