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Food prices remain stable ahead of Chuseok holiday Updated: 2019-09-12 12:12:18 KST

"Markets are packed with customers browsing for food to buy ahead of the Chuseok holiday. They are shopping for food to put out for charye,… a memorial ritual that Koreans perform to pay respect to their ancestors."

During the charye ceremony, meat, rice, fruits and other food are placed on a ritual table.
Costs of popular food items for the ceremony are fairly stable this year.
A study of 18 traditional markets and 27 retail stores across the country shows,… the average cost of items needed for arranging a charye table this year dropped one.one percent on-year when bought at traditional markets.
For the retail stores, it cost almost the same as last year.
Essential Chuseok food like beef, pork and chestnuts all saw a slight drop in prices.
Fruits like apples also fell by more than eleven percent on-year, whereas pears saw an eight percent increase in traditional markets.
Experts say oversupply may have led to the price fall of Chuseok commodities.

"The fruits, especially the apples and pears and peaches, those products have been oversupplied recently. Previous years, you know, you will see sudden jump in price for fruits, vegetables, but this year, quite opposite because of the oversupply."
However, consumers say it's hard to notice the difference.

"I don't think the prices fell compared to before. We have four to five members in our family and I think it'll cost over 330 U.S. dollars for charye this year."

"The prices seem the same. Even if Chuseok comes only once a year, it's still a large burden for families since everything is so expensive. I try to cut down on things, but it's hard."
The difference between the real price changes and what consumers actually feel is because consumers are more sensitive to prices of things they buy more frequently.

"Consumers depend on their respective experiences when judging prices. This eventually leads to a gap between the real price index and what consumers feel about the prices."

The expert added that while there remains the possibility of price changes due to the recent Typhoon Lingling, he expects prices to remain fairly stable throughout the holiday.
Kim Jae-hee, Arirang News.
Reporter : jhee@arirang.com
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