Rice Price Shows a Downward Tendency in March

Daily NK
Kim Min Se

Expectations of foreign aid affected the stability of prices

In early March, the rice price in North Korean markets continues to inch downward before the spring lean period.

The research conducted by DailyNK correspondents on rice prices show that they fluctuate between 800 won to 900 won.

The price of 1kg of rice at Chungjin Market was around 900 won early in March, 750 won in Hamheung, and 700 won in Pyongyang and Hwanghae province. In October, 2006, just after the nuclear test, the price of rice was approximately 1,000 won to 1,100 won.

The spring leaning period usually starts in April because the amount of current rice in markets diminishes when rice and cereals reduce and the demand of rice increases.

The rice price declines mainly because the supply of rice traded through China.

After the nuclear test, the North Korean government imported 7423 tons of rice in October, 910 tons in November, and 3928 tons in December from China, according to the Unification Ministry and KOTRA. The Unification Ministry analyzed that the decrease in rice costs is an unprecedented case.

The total expected output of rice is 4.3 million tons according to WFP and Rural Development Administration of South Korea. Some experts analyzed that the supply of food may be enough to meet the demand. They believe this because the rice price is stable and moving downward.

It is expected that the price of rice will remain stable for a while rice price lasts for a while. They believe because people expect the food aid from foreign countries after reaching the 2.13 agreement at the six party talks. On the other hand, there are those that believe that the statistics of rice prices are irrelevant to effect of the real lives of North Korean people.


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