August 08, 2022 13:22
Surging grocery prices are sounding alarm bells ahead of Chuseok. Vegetables, cooking oil and flour have gone up so much that the government has promised measures this week to stabilize food prices as the country's biggest holiday approaches.
According to Statistics Korea on Sunday, the consumer price index for groceries and non-alcoholic beverages in July increased eight percent on-year to 113.12, the biggest rise in a year and five months.
The biggest jumps were in prices of edible oil (34.7 percent) and vegetables and seaweed (24.4 percent). Among vegetables the most dramatic rise was cucumbers and zucchini (73 percent), lettuce (72.7 percent) and spinach (70.6 percent).
The main reason was heavy monsoon rains and the early heatwave, which reduced harvests. The price of cooking oil soared 55.6 percent due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the world's bread basket, as did flour (up 36.4 percent).
The government is eyeing slashing tariffs on some imported foods and agricultural produce to tame runaway inflation.
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