Veg, rice prices fall on back of ‘kimjang’

Recently in Yanggang Province, as both
Kimjang and the harvest season draw to a close, the price of vegetables and
rice has gone down, and with winter right around the corner, fuel prices have
begun to rise. 

“As we enter in November, the price of
vegetables and rice are falling, and with the end of the Kimjang season and the
beginning of rice threshing, market prices are fluctuating wildly,” a source in
Yanggang Province reported to Daily NK on November 16th. “Families, preparing
for winter now that Kimjang (making of kimchi for the season) is over, are
using servi-cha for business regularly and the price of oil is also rising

An additional source in the same province
corroborated this news.

At the height of Kimjang season in
mid-October, cabbage was trading at 1,950 KPW (0.23 USD) per 1 kg, but by the end of
October it had dropped to 1,500 KPW (0.17 USD), and now it has dropped further still to
reach 900 KPW (0.10 USD) per 1 kg. Rice has also dropped from 5,200 KPW (0.60 USD) to 4,700 KPW (0.55 USD) per

As North Korea moves to wrap up its fiscal
year, residents who failed to complete their assigned tasks must make payments
to fulfill their duty. Those without the money hand over part of the harvest
from tending their personal plots to market sellers for cash and turn that in
instead. The flood of harvested goods at the markets has thus driven down prices.

Our source tells us that in mid-October,
using Hyesan City as the standard, petrol was trading at 6,000 KPW (0.70 USD) per kilogram and diesel
fuel at 4,000 KPW (0.47 USD) per kilogram. But since the beginning of November the prices increased
to 7,000 KPW (0.81 USD) for petrol and 4,500 KPW (0.52 USD) per kilogram for diesel. In mid-November prices
have increased to 7,300 KPW  (0.85 USD) per kilogram for petrol and 5,250 KPW (0.61 USD) per kilogram for diesel.

As the icy winter draws closer, hot
foods are selling particularly well and the price of potato noodles, corn
noodles, and others are more expensive compared to last year. Last year a small
bowl of noodles was 1,000 KPW (0.12 USD) while a large bowl cost 6,000 KPW (0.70 USD); this year,
small bowls of noodles are selling better than large bowls at a cost of 1,500
KPW (0.17 USD).