South Korean government and ruling party to inject 150 billion won to curb soaring agricultural product prices

The government and ruling party of South Korea agreed to inject an additional 150 billion won ($113 million) to stabilize soaring agricultural prices, which saw fruits surge over 40% amid a 20.9% spike in overall agricultural product inflation last month.

The government of South Korea and the ruling People Power Party (PPP) have agreed to inject an additional 150 billion South Korean won (approximately US$113 million) this week. This financial injection aims to stabilize the rising prices of agricultural and livestock products in the country. This announcement was made by the leader of the PPP on Friday.

According to data released by the government, the prices of agricultural, livestock, and fishery products increased by 11.4% year-on-year in the previous month. Among these, agricultural product prices saw a significant spike of 20.9%, contributing to a 0.8 percentage point increase in the overall inflation rate.

For specific items, apple and tangerine prices surged by 71% and 78.1%, respectively. The combined prices of 18 major fruit varieties rose by 41.2% last month, marking the largest increase in over 32 years.

The leader of the People Power Party (PPP), Han Dong-hoon, announced an expansion in the number of agricultural products eligible for government funding. The current list of 13 products will be increased to 21 by adding grapes and Asian pears. This move aims to stabilize the wholesale prices of these newly added products.

Furthermore, the plan involves a significant increase in the funds allocated for discount vouchers that can be used at approximately 16,000 large retail outlets when purchasing agricultural products, according to Han. The plan also includes holding more annual discount events for beef, pork, eggs, and chicken. During these events, discounts ranging from 30% to 50% will be provided to consumers for these products.

The government and the PPP are taking measures to stabilize prices and provide relief to consumers by expanding the list of subsidized agricultural products, increasing funds for discount vouchers at retailers, and offering substantial discounts on meat and poultry products through annual events.