Soju prices going up, beer may follow
Hite Jinro announced it will raise soju prices by 7.9 percent, and other alcohol makers are expected to follow as the price of ethanol goes up.
The factory price of Hite Jinro’s Chamisul Original and Chamisul Fresh will rise an average 7.9 percent to 1,166 won (98 cents) for a 360 mililiter (12 fluid ounce) bottle starting Feb. 23.
The price of Jinro Soju will also rise 7.9 percent. The company didn't state the factory price after the rise, but said it will be lower than for Chamisul.
It is the first price hike for Jinro Soju since its release in 2019. For the two Chamisuls, it is the first rise in two years and nine months.
Hite Jinro blamed a rise in raw materials and logistics costs for the increase, and said that production costs rose more than 14 percent over the past three years.
The Korea Ethanol Supplies Company raised prices of ethanol, a key ingredient in soju, for the first time since 2012. A 200-liter drum of ethanol now costs 391,527 won, up 7.8 percent from 351,203 won.
Other alcohol makers are expected to follow. It has been some time since their last price hikes.
The price of Lotte Chilsung Beverage’s Chum-Churum soju rose 7.2 percent to 1,079.1 won in 2019. Alcohol maker Muhak’s Good Day Soju prices rose 6.4 percent to 1,071.8 won in January 2021, the first rise since 2014.
The tax on beer will go up 2.49 percent to 855 won per liter, and beer products by the alcohol makers could become more expensive as well.
BY LEE TAE-HEE [firstname.lastname@example.org]