South Korea’s producer prices accelerated in August on a spike in fresh food prices due to lengthy heat wave and frequent rainfall, suggesting grocery prices will likely stay strong for some time.
According to the Bank of Korea on Tuesday, the producer price index (PPI) was at 102.20 last month, up 0.3 percent from July.
Prices of agricultural produce shot up 14.2 percent in August in the fastest gain in nearly seven years. Farm produce and fisheries prices together were up 4.5 percent. By item, bell pepper prices rose 190.9 percent in a month, tomato 102.1 percent and napa cabbage 55.3 percent.
Prices of livestock products, however, fell 2.5 percent last month. Prices of poultry and eggs sank 12.9 percent and 13.9 percent, respectively, as consumers remain spooked after the scandal over pesticide-tainted eggs.
Fisheries prices decreased 1.8 percent, helped by 31.0 percent tumble in prices of crabs and 5.7 percent in squids.
Prices of factory produces edged up 0.3 percent from a month earlier. By item, coals and petroleum products increased 3.2 percent and primary metals 0.6 percent.
Food and beverage declined 0.1 percent and electric parts and electronics products 0.3 percent.
Higher producer or wholesale prices translate into higher consumer prices.
By Lee Seung-yoon
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]