N. Korean rice sellers raking it in thanks to skyrocketing prices
The rise of North Korean rice prices have led to massive profits for rice wholesalers who acquired rice from China before the closure of the Sino-North Korean border in late January, Daily NK has learned.
The dearth of Chinese rice due to the border shutdown led rice prices to skyrocket up to between KPW 6,000 to KPW 6,500 initially. Now, however, prices have now settled back down to between KPW 5,500 and KPW 6,000 in parts of the country.
North Korean commodity prices stayed relatively stable despite international sanctions and such a steep rise in prices over such a short period is the first observed in 10 years.
“The rise in rice prices due to the coronavirus means that merchants have had to find any way possible to acquire more rice,” a Ryanggang Province-based source told Daily NK today.
“Small-scale rice sellers typically sell about 50 kilograms of rice per day in markets in Pyongsong. Now that they have no more Chinese rice to sell, they are purchasing rice from local farms to sell in the markets,” the source said.
Large rice wholesalers, meanwhile, are reportedly making large profits from the increases in price all over the country. ......