Soaring Prices Hit Everyday Goods

  • By Song Hye-jin

    April 30, 2022 08:41

    Prices of everyday goods are going through the roof as Russia's invasion of Ukraine has sent grain and feed prices soaring. Poor harvests, rising oil prices and increasing wages are exacerbating inflation.

    CJ Cheiljedang and Pulmuone raised the prices of their frozen pizza by W1,000 on Thursday (US$1=W1,262). CJ Cheiljedang's Gourmet Chili Gambas Pizza went up from W8,980 to W9,980, while Pulmuone's No Edge Pizza from W6,980 to W7,980.

    Earlier, Domino's Pizza raised the prices of 10 of its products by W1,000 earlier this year, Mister Pizza by W2,000 and Papa Johns by W1,000 to W2,000.

    Fried chicken prices are also going up. BBQ will raise the prices of 39 raw ingredients it supplies to franchises by up to 70 percent from June 2. The chain already said it will jack up the prices of its products by W2,000 by that same date.

    "Grain and feed prices have surged, while the minimum wage also rose, forcing us to raise the costs shouldered by franchisees," a spokesman said. 

    Russia and Ukraine account for 30 percent of global exports of wheat, while India, another major source of wheat, has suffered a drought. The prices of sunflower and canola oil as well as their substitutes such as soybean and palm oil have also surged.

    The rising palm oil price has had ripple effects for cosmetics. Amore Pacific raised the prices of its products by 10 percent on Monday and LG Household and Healthcare is hiking prices by four percent on average next week. The cost of packaging paper and transportation has also risen.

    Even underwear is affected. Victoria's Secret and Underwire Bra have increased their prices by 30 to 40 percent. The U.S., which is the world's biggest cotton exporter, suffered a drought last year that led to a supply shortage, while the U.S. banned the import of cotton from the Uighur region over Chinese human rights abuses there.

    Rising global oil prices, meanwhile, have driven up the prices of synthetic textiles, with PTA, the raw material in polyester, surging 38 percent to $930 per ton. That has prompted forecasts of increasing clothes prices until the second half of this year.

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