February 20, 2023 11:14
Beer and soju prices rose more steeply last year than at any time since the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s, and inflation and taxes are likely to drive them up even further.
According to Statistics Korea on Sunday, liquor prices rose 5.7 percent last year, the biggest increase since 1998 and more than five times the 1.1 percent increase in 2021.
Soju rose 7.6 percent, the highest since 2013, and beer 5.5 percent, the highest since 2017.
This year, alcohol taxes will increase even more drastically than last year and raw materials prices and distribution costs are also on the way up. The beer tax will increase by W30.5 to W885.7 per liter in April (US$1=W1,300).
Once brewers increase their factory prices, retail prices also go up. Last year, the factory price of soju rose by W85 per bottle, but prices in supermarkets and convenience stores increased by W100 to W150. Retail prices of soju in restaurants rose by a whopping W500 to W1,000, according to Korea Food Service Industry Research.
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