[WORD_ON_THE_WEB] 'The prices are almost unbearable'

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[WORD_ON_THE_WEB] 'The prices are almost unbearable'

The import prices of agricultural, livestock and marine products have been skyrocketing for three months.
The import price index for food items was 112.6 in February, up 31.7 percent compared to the same month last year. There was a 33.5 percent spike last December and a 31.5 percent increase the following month.
The main reasons for the rising prices are problems in the global supply chain. Experts also point out that demand has increased as the government eases Covid-19 quarantine measures, while geopolitical issues also push up prices.
The import price index of produce increased 33.3 percent compared to last year. For grain, the increase was 42.3 percent. Vegetables such as onions, garlic, white radish and carrots all saw a rise.

The index was also higher for livestock products, up 36.7 percent, and marine products, up 13.5 percent.

“The prices are almost unbearable. I run a restaurant, and it’s 5,500 won ($4.53) for a chicken. A month ago it was 4,300 won. Not to mention the condiments.”
“This is a serious problem. If this goes on, this country won’t be a decent place to live anymore. We need a solution, and we need it fast.”
“The prices ought to rise after the oil becomes pricier because that affects nationwide distribution. We should take control of the oil price first and foremost. The government should offer tax concessions to stabilize consumer prices, especially for freight drivers.”
“Why does everyone think about one thing and not the other? When oil prices climb, it's no wonder that other prices are affected.”
“Everything is pricier and my wage stays the same. On top of that, the tax bill is huge. What’s an office worker to do?”
“Chicken feed wage! Endless inflation! My god, how are the common folk supposed to live now?”

BY LEE SI-YEOUNG, YOO JI-WOO [yoo.jiwoo@joongang.co.kr]
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