Price of Rice Rises Sharply in May

[imText1]In North Korea, there has been a sharp rise in the price of domestic rice.

In mid May, the price of rice in North Pyongan province was 1,300 won ($0.43) a kg. Compared to the price in May 2005, it rose 500 won ($0.17). In Jangmadang, there is a rumor that rice will rise to 2,000 won ($0.67), so it seems that it’s just a matter of time before rice becomes more expensive.

The reason for the rising cost of rice is simple: a shortage of rice. The rice stored in autumn has begun to run out and there are not enough edible plants to go around. North Korea calls this period the Spring Austerity Season. This is considered the hardest season for North Koreans.

The average wage of North Koreans is 3,000 won ($1), meaning that a family of four would have to live off of 1.5kg of rice a month. People struggle to survive by doing business, digging up edible plants, getting help from relatives living in China, and selling scrap iron.

The following list shows prices from North Pyongan province in March, illustrating the huge difference from this year’s prices. Prices vary the most among food and groceries.

Groceries

Groceries

Rice

1kg 800won – March 7 / 1,300 won in May

1kg 700won(730won by wholesale) – May 21~31

Corn

450 ~ 500won

Pork

1kg – 4,000won

Beef

1kg – 6,500won

Duck meat

1kg – 4,500won

Goat meat

1kg – 4,500won

Mutton

1kg – 4,000won

Egg

Per one – 150won

Edible oil

White

1kg – 2300won

Yellow(bean oil)

1kg – 2,650won

Seasoning

Ajinomoto made in Japan : 450g-2,400won(2,260won by wholesale)

Gaedan made in China : 450g 2,150won(2,050won by wholesale)

Clothes

Underwear

Minye, for woman, made in China – 17yuan

Bosuk, for woman, made in China – 21yuan

Gyeongpum, for man, made in china – 26yuan

Soanda, for man, made in China – 31yuan

Socks

Nanais, one pair – 1,050won

Bubu made in China, one pair – 1,250won

Shoes

Man’s hide shoes, fair average quality, made in China – 60yuan

Man’s hide shoes, lower-grade quality, made in China – 50yuan

Goods related with a Computer

Monitor 17″

Retail price – 110~120 dollars, Wholesale price – 90 dollars

Printer

65~70 dollars

diskette

5,000won per ten

Keyboard

20dollars

Mouse

5dollars

Snacks or Side dishes(March 28 ~31)

Roasted chicken

6,500won~8,000won per one

Potato

1kg – 400won

Roasted duck

9,000won~12,000won per one

Beans

1kg – 700won

Noodle

1Box – 6,750won

Flour

1kg – 750won(690won by wholesale)

Confectionery

1 box – 4,700won

Butter powder

1kg – 5,000won

Rice cake

1box – 8,000won

Chinese noodle

1kg – 2,000won

Dry squid

1kg – 8,800won

Wild walnut powder

25g – 400won

Sweet potato

1kg – 300won

Milk powder

400g – 5,000won

Korean noodle

750g – 2,400won

Fruits (March 28 ~ 31)

Mandarin

1kg – 1,800won

Water melon

3kg – 9,000won

Tomato

1kg – 2,000won

Strawberry

1 box – 9,000won

Banana

1 cluster – 5,500won

Pear

1kg – 1,200won

Apple

1kg – 1,200won

Leisure (March 28 ~ 31)

Movie

50won

Karaoke

1 hour – 5,000won

Internet cafe

1 hour – 1,000won

Admission fee for Sauna

2,500won

Pool

1 person – 70won

Film

9,000won ~ 15,000won

Mangyeongdae Playground

Adult – 50won, Child – 20won

Print of a photograph

10 ~ 18cm : 800won

A comic book

1,500won (lending – 100won)

Taxes and Exchange Rate (March 7 ~ 31)

Exchange Rate

100dollars

March 13

310,000won

March 18

298,000won

March 19

297,000won

March 31

299,500won

100yuan

March 19

37,100won

March 31

37,500won

The present

37,600won

Electronic fee : using for 4 light bulb, a TV, a refrigerator, a recorder(3months) – 600won

Water fee – 10won per capital(3months)

Medicines and Medical Instruments

Anodyne

1 pill – 75won

Sphygmomanometer, Stethoscope

25,000won

Aspirin

12 pills – 140won

1 bottle of 5% Glucose

580won

Antibiotics

1 pill 300won(Made in China-30won)

A acupuncture needles case

10won

Cold medicines

1 pill – 30~50won

School Things

Pencil

50won

Pencil case

500 ~ 700won

Ball pen

150 ~ 250won

Schoolbag

6,000won

Notebook

350won

Mechanical pencil

1,200won

Eraser

300won

Entrance fee for Shinuiju Medical college including bribe costs

200 ~300 dollars

Money due of private computer shop per meonth

200 ~ 300dollars

Housing Prices

Single story house with 2rooms, 1kitchen in a city

Monthly rent 20,000won

Middle quality apartment with 2rooms, 1kitchen

3,000 ~ 3,500dollars

Rent for a 110 square meters Karaoke

40,000won per month

High quality apartment with 3rooms, 1kitchen

70,000dollars

Single story house with 2rooms, 1kitchen

1,500dollars

Single story house with 3rooms, 1kitchen(660㎡)

3,000dollars

Others (March 28 ~ 31)

Sanitary napkin

500 ~ 1,000 per one

Cosmetics(Cream, Toner)

Made in S.Korea-10,000won, Made in China-35,000won

3 kinds of toner set

42,000won

Small size gas range

27,000won(25,000won by wholesale)

3 kinds of Aloe set

42000won

Auto bike

150 ~ 200dollars

TV

Sony, used, made in Japan – 680yuan

Gukhwa, used, made in China – 350yuan

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