Factory milk price up 9.5%

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Factory milk price up 9.5%

Seoul Milk, the nation’s largest dairy manufacturer, notified local discount chain stores yesterday that it will raise the factory price of milk by 9.5 percent starting Oct. 24, heightening concerns of steep hikes in the prices of baked goods, baby formula, coffee and ice cream.

The decision was a turnaround after Seoul Milk called off its plan to raise milk prices last week after a high-ranking official at the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries pressured the dairy manufacturer for the sake of consumers pinched by inflation, according to the JoongAng Ilbo.

Currently, the factory price of a liter of milk is 1,460 won ($ 1.27). It will be raised to 1,598 won.

At local discount stores, the price of a liter of milk is now 2,150 won. If the price hike goes through, milk will go up to about 2,370 won per liter.

Choi Hyun-wook, a representative of Seoul Milk, told the Korea JoongAng Daily that the company has refrained from raising prices ever since dairy farmers and milk producers reached an agreement on a 138 won hike in the price of raw milk on Aug. 16 from 704 won per liter to 842 won. But he said Seoul Milk cannot delay the hike anymore due to snowballing losses.

“We’ve been losing 250 million won every day since the Aug. 16 agreement, and the combined loss to dairy manufacturers totals 30 billion won,” Choi said. “We decided to raise the price reflecting the hike made on Aug. 16.”

With the announcement by Korea’s No. 1 dairy manufacturer, market watchers suggested two other major milk producers - Namyang Dairy Products and Maeil Diary - will soon follow suit.

The two companies said last week they would only raise prices after Seoul Milk.

“I’m aware that the board of directors of Seoul Milk had a meeting Monday and asked the company’s executives to raise the milk price, which was delayed for a week,” an official at the agriculture ministry told the Korea JoongAng Daily.

“The government always represents the consumers’ side,” he said, adding, “but we understand the situation that forces Seoul Milk to raise prices.”

“It’s likely that the price hike could push up the price of other products and raise overall prices of consumer goods,” an official at a local discount chain said.

By Kim Mi-ju [mijukim@joongang.co.kr]

한글 관련 기사 [중앙일보]

우유값 오른다 … 서울우유 24일 L당 200원↑

서울우유 가격(소비자 가격)이 24일부터 9% 이상 오른다. 1L짜리 흰 우유의 경우 약 200원이 오르는 셈이다. 서울우유가 출고가격을 올리기로 했고, 유통업체들도 유통 마진을 인상하기로 했기 때문이다.

 이에 따라 현재 이마트 같은 대형할인점에서 2150원에 팔리는 1L짜리 흰 우유 소매가는 2350원으로 인상된다(약 9.3%).

 남양유업과 매일유업 등 다른 우유업체들도 곧 우유값을 올릴 것으로 예상된다. 우유를 주 원료로 쓰는 빵과 아이스크림 가격 인상도 이어질 것으로 보인다. 유통업체 관계자는 “우유가격 인상이 전반적인 생활물가 상승을 촉발할 수 있다”고 말했다.

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