DPRK won’s declining value in 2012

Chris Green writes in the Daily NK:

The value of the North Korean currency against the Chinese Yuan has declined markedly since the beginning of this year, information from inside sources has revealed.

By the beginning of June, 100RMB was trading in Musan, North Hamkyung Province for 80,000 North Korean Won, marking a 25% reduction in value since January, when 100RMB was worth around 60,000 Won.

A source from the area told Daily NK on the 25th, “The exchange rate changes even over the course of a day, but yesterday it was in the 800’s [1RMB=800 North Korean Won]. People are saying that our money is turning to scrap paper.”

“Because of this, prices in the jangmadang [market] are following suit,” the source went on. “However, supplies are still massively insufficient, and everything is gone from stalls by the end of the day.”

According to statistics published regularly by Daily NK, at this time last year 100RMB was trading for between 43,000 and 45,000 North Korean Won (regional variations apply). This means that the price has now almost doubled in just 12 months.

Looking at the rises in more detail, by October 2011 the price of 100RMB had reached 50,000 Won, mid-November saw it hit 58,000 Won, and by mid December it had reached 60,000 Won. Fast forwarding to April 2012 and it was 67,000 Won, and by mid May 74,000 Won.
Notably, almost the only products in the jangmadang that are now traded in local currency are food and a few other very low-priced items; everything else, from clothing to electronics, is bought and sold in foreign currency.

Read the full story here:
The Inexorably Rising RMB Exchange
Daily NK
Chris Green


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