North Korea’s grain prices ‘high-altitude march’ every day… The foreign currency exchange rate is the highest this year

The Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the North Korean Workers’ Party, reported on November 30, “According to the party’s grand nature transformation plan, the land in South Hwanghae Province, the country’s agricultural province, is further renewing its appearance.” /Photo = Labor Newspaper News 1

Even though the harvest is over, grain prices in North Korea are not falling. It was found that the exchange rate is also rising as grain purchases have not been carried out properly due to the sluggish harvest this year, and the country is trying to make up for the shortfall with imports.

According to Daily NK’s regular North Korean market price survey, as of the 27th of last month, the price of rice in Pyongyang was 6,000 won per kg. Not only in Pyongyang, but also in Sinuiju and Hyesan, the price of rice exceeded 6,000 won.

It is the first time in 10 years since 2012 that the market price of rice exceeded 6,000 won per 1 kg at the end of November. In fact, the price of rice, which was in the range of 1,000 to 2,000 won per kg in 2011, soared to 6,000 won in November 2012.

In 2011 and 2012, North Korea’s agricultural production was greatly reduced due to flooding, and the food situation was difficult enough for the North Korean authorities to request food aid due to a decrease in international food aid.

Since then, until the end of November last year, the average price of rice in the North Korean market was around 4,000 won.

Compared to previous years, it seems unusual that the price of rice in November exceeded 6,000 won per kg like this year.

Corn (corn) prices are also on the rise. On the 27th of last month, 1 kg of corn was traded at 3,200 won in the Pyongyang market. This is an increase of 200 won from the survey on the 13th of last month, and the current price of corn in Pyongyang is the highest since the currency reform in 2009.

The upward trend in grain prices in North Korea at the end of November is believed to be due to the fact that this year’s harvest situation is not as good as expected, and that agricultural institutions are procuring insufficient harvests from the market to avoid inspections related to the ‘Bluff Prevention Act’.

This is because if there is a big difference between the expected harvest reported at the top and the actual production, you can be punished.

In the midst of this, it is known that each local farming business that purchases, mills, stores, and manages grains has not been able to purchase enough grains.

The Cabinet Agricultural Committee ordered the purchase of 6 months worth of food after this harvest, but it is said that each farming business could only procure 1-2 months worth on average.

In this situation, agriculture and food related organizations are trying to secure grain through imports.

According to the source, opportunities for trade participation are somewhat expanding, such as the recent trade management bureau leasing its own vessels to each regional trade organization. As a result, it is reported that grain imports through Nampo or Songlim Port have increased considerably.

In particular, as more organizations are willing to participate in trade in Nampo or Songrim, regardless of their home base, and the North Korean authorities allow organizations that can trade by ship to trade, it seems that the demand for foreign currencies such as dollars and yuan has also increased in North Korea.

In fact, on the 27th of last month, the won-dollar exchange rate in Pyongyang was 8,400 won, the highest since September 2020.

A source said, “Recently, the number of institutions trading with Nampo or Songrim has increased, and since it is time to prepare for the firearm and there will be the Lunar New Year holiday next year, there is a movement to prepare dollars (dollars) or yuan (yuan) in advance.”

Source: DailyNK by

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