Feel the price increase in Korea

Prices in South Korea have entered a stage of skyrocketing before the Spring Festival, and the increasing burden of the “vegetable basket” has made people’s lives worse. Every time I go to the supermarket, the reporter of the Global Times in South Korea has to be shocked by the rising prices.

The most intuitive feeling among Korean people is that eggs have become “golden eggs.” Affected by bird flu, Korean egg prices soared before the Spring Festival. The reporter found in many supermarkets that in order to prevent the phenomenon of hoarding, a notice was posted on the supermarket shelves that the purchase of eggs per person was restricted to one plate, and the egg inventory on the shelves was significantly reduced compared with usual.

South Korean self-employed workers whose income was reduced due to the epidemic are now facing the problem of rising food prices. South Korea’s “Mainichi Economy” reported on the 11th that 32-year-old fried chicken shop owner Choi told reporters that in addition to chicken, the prices of onions, green onions and other ingredients are rising. Among them, the price of onion rose from 2530 won (1000 won, about RMB 5.7) to 3511 won. Cui said that for the sake of passenger flow, the fried chicken shop has not increased the price for the time being, but it is difficult not to increase in the future.

Recent statistics from the OECD and the Korea Statistics Office show that food prices in South Korea rose by 6.5% year-on-year in January this year, ranking fourth among the OECD member countries, more than twice the average increase (3.1%) of the member countries . The increase in February this year reached 9.7%, a new high in 9 years and 6 months. In February of this year, the prices of green onions and eggs rose by 227.5% and 41.7% year-on-year, respectively. The prices of apples, chili powder and pork also rose sharply.

In fact, the “dining table prices” of Koreans have been rising and rising in the past year. Last summer, the typhoon disaster was superimposed on the longest rainy season in South Korea’s history, causing the prices of agricultural and livestock products to skyrocket. Immediately afterwards, high prices made Koreans usher in a particularly “sad” Mid-Autumn Festival. The market price of apples that South Koreans often use during Mid-Autumn Festival ceremonies rose to 5 about 16,000 won (about 90 yuan) in the three weeks before the festival, and the prices of other ritual foods also rose. After the Mid-Autumn Festival, it was the season for making kimchi in Korea, but the prices of main ingredients such as cabbage, white radish, peppers, and garlic remained high. “Previously, at least two kinds of kimchi were given to each table in the restaurant, but now it is reduced to one. If customers don’t ask for it, they won’t even give it,” Mr. Li, who works in a Korean restaurant, told reporters.

In addition to food, South Korea’s rising housing costs have made the people miserable. A friend working in a South Korean research institute sighed to the reporter, “A friend who is an economic expert said that Korean houses will not appreciate in value and do not buy a house. Now he regrets it very much. Even economists can’t predict the trend of housing prices!”

According to the Korean National News, the Korean people have reduced unnecessary expenditures under the new crown epidemic, and the proportion of food and housing expenditure in household consumption has risen to the level of the 2000s. The proportion of basic living expenses has risen, while the proportion of related expenditures such as culture and education has declined, which shows that people’s “quality of life” is declining.

The recent research report released by the Hyundai Research Institute of Korea shows that South Koreans spent 12.9% of total household consumption expenditure in the field of food and beverage last year (Engel’s coefficient), which was the highest in 20 years. Among them, the soaring price of “dining table” had an important impact. . The report predicts that due to the recent surge in world agricultural prices, South Korea’s Engel coefficient may rise further.