Beijing: The average price of food in 50 Chinese cities continued to drop between March 21 and March 30, official data showed on Wednesday.

The 10-day snapshot could reflect the trend in consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, as food prices account for nearly one-third of the prices used in calculating the index, Xinhua news agency reported.

Prices of pork, beef and mutton posted decline from last sampled period of March 11 to March 20, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Cucumber led the fall in vegetable prices by losing 6.4 per cent, while canola and soybean oil prices dipped by 0.4 per cent.

Weakening food prices were expected to drag down the March CPI, which is was expected to grow by about 0.8 per cent year on year, according to an earlier report by the Bank of Communications.

The official CPI in March is due to be released by the NBS on April 12.