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Gov't measures help stabilize cost of purchasing food for Chuseok memorial rituals Updated: 2021-09-17 07:03:21 KST

The costs of purchasing food for the Chuseok memorial rituals, known as charye have increased again this year.

"Foods were expensive last year during the Chuseok holiday, but it feels like things have become more expensive this year… especially fruit."

South Korea's consumer prices in August exceeded the Bank of Korea's inflation target of two percent for the fifth consecutive month …and the data from the Seoul Agro-Fisheries and Food Corporation at end of August showed the prices for preparing 'charye' tables for Chuseok increased by five to six percent on-year.
Responding to this, the government has implemented measures to balance supply and demand, starting in the last week of August…a week earlier than last year.

"To stabilize prices of Chuseok foods, the government has been increasing supplies as well as providing price cuts through discount events… to help those prepare charye tables"

"Starting from August 30th, the government has been increasing the supply of the ten most in demand 'charye' table items such as apples and eggs by one.five times the normal supply and one.four times compared to the Chuseok holiday last year.
In addition, the government is spending one.three billion U.S. dollars to subsidize up to 30 percent discounts on agricultural and livestock products."

In fact, apart from cabbage, the ten most in demand food items have all seen their prices fall between August 30th and September 10th.

However, experts say that Korea's fifth round of COVID-19 emergency relief funds in September could raise prices over the Chuseok holiday.

"Korea's consumer prices have been on the rise especially since May this year. The recent Covid-19 relief funds do not cause inflation, but could accelerate the rising trend that has been here in Korea over the few months by leading people to buy more foods for 'charye' tables."

Despite the rising prices, the use of relief funds means that charye tables are still likely to be full this year.
Seo Eunkyung, Arirang News.
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