Korea to take preemptive action to stabilize prices
The government will take preemptive action to keep inflation in check amid worries that recently soaring prices of produce and processed goods could exert upward inflationary pressure, the finance minster said Tuesday.
"Prices of agricultural products and processed goods have been surging recently," Finance Minister Bahk Jae-wan told a price stabilization meeting. "The government will not lower its guard and take preemptive action in stabilizing prices and the livelihood of people."
Bahk also said that the government will consider stockpiling or importing key fishery products including pollack and hairtails on expectations that their prices could rise on growing demand ahead of the Chuseok holiday that starts in late September.
His remarks come amid easing concerns over inflation. The country's consumer prices rose 1.5 percent on-year in July, the slowest growth in 12 years.
Risks are still lingering. Global prices of agricultural products, especially corn and wheat, soared recently due to reduced harvests in the U.S. and other countries following severe droughts in their major farming areas.
South Korea depends heavily on imports for its corn and wheat demand, which is raising concerns that price hikes in global markets could lead to food price increases in the domestic market. (Yonhap)