The cold wave chilling most of China these days has set records for low temperatures in several regions of the country, notably in the capital city of Beijing that registered a low of minus 15 degrees C (5 degrees F), very close to its all-time record of minus 15.2 C (4.6 F) in 1985, the Chinese national weather service said.

A dozen provincial capitals were hit with temperatures colder than 10 C below zero (14 F), while an area in the autonomous region of Xinjiang in northwestern China plunged to a low of minus 49 C (minus 56 F).

Sunday's temperatures fell between 6 C and 8 C (43 F and 46 F) in several parts of the country, while areas in China's north and northeast dropped between 10 C and 14 C (50 F and 57 F) over the past two days.

Beijing, meanwhile, is having its coldest winter in more than two decades and the snowfall last Nov. 3 was "the heaviest since the founding of the new China" in the year 1949, press reports said.

The freezing temperatures are causing concern that prices of some food products might shoot up during the coming Chinese festivals, including the Lunar New Year, which will next be celebrated this coming Feb. 9. EFE