Sanctions hit North Korea’s South Pyongan Province hard
Indications continue to suggest that international sanctions on North Korea have led to stagnation of the economy throughout the country. The signs of economic downturn include declining sales in the North Korean markets. Some merchants are now saying that their businesses are only gathering debt, North Korean sources report.
“Procurement prices [the prices merchants pay to buy products from wholesalers or manufacturers] have risen, but there’s fewer and fewer people coming to the markets to buy things,” a South Pyongan Province-based source told Daily NK.
“Merchants are saying that they’re not earning any profits. The cost prices have risen, but the dearth of consumers at local markets has cut into whatever profits they were making.”
“The production costs of flour, sugar, cooking oil and other products imported from China have continued to rise since 2018,” he said. “Merchants have survived by selling products produced in North Korean factories or those manufactured by individuals, but now I’m hearing that they just can’t survive this way anymore.”
The prices of materials used to manufacture products in North Korea have also risen, meaning that North Korean products are no longer cheaper than Chinese products.
Small-scale merchants at local markets have turned to selling popular beverages and food to increase sales, but still face difficulties earning enough money. The sheer number of merchants that have entered the fray has led to intense competition between them. ......