Price of Farm Products Declines

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Price of Farm Products Declines

It's getting cheaper and cheaper to fill a shopping basket full of food. The price of produce has declined a whopping 20 percent from last year's prices while the price of seafood has declined 10 percent year on year.

Barring unfavorable weather or crop diseases, the current low prices for fresh produce are expected to continue.

The Korea Agricultural Fishery Marketing Cooperation (AFMC) collected information on the prices of produce in the five major cities of Korea; Seoul, Pusan, Taegu, Kwangju and Taejon, and found that more than half of the products included in the survey had declined in price compared to last year.

The Karak-dong Agricultural & Marine Products Wholesale Market in Seoul announced that their index of farm products had reached a new low of 79.2 at the end of May. The index is calculated by finding the average price of produce over the last five years and setting that figure at 100. Therefore, according to the index, the current price of farm products has fallen 20.8 percent compared to previous years.

The prices of fresh produce such as watermelons, melons, strawberries and tomatos as well as apples, pears, bananas and oranges fell steeply over the past year. This is especially true for the prices of oranges and melons, their prices have declined 49.9 percent and 34.9 percent respectively over the past year.

Noh Kwang-suk, the research team leader of the Karakdong Agricultural & Marine Products Wholesale Market, said that the supply of farm products has increased over last year but their consumption has decreased due to the slowdown in the economy and competition from cheaper imported fruits.

As for seafood products, eight out of the 13 products included in the survey were found to be cheaper than last year.

In contrast to the declining price of fresh produce and seafood, the price of beef and pork has increased. The price of Korean meat increased 25.7 percent over last year while the price of Korean pork jumped 4.8 percent after falling steeply in the wake of the foot-and-mouth disease scare earlier this year.

by Cha Jin-yong

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