The Korea Herald


Govt. to reduce tariffs on fresh food imports to curb inflation

By Yonhap

Published : May 24, 2024 - 11:12

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Customers shop at a major discount store in Seoul on Tuesday. (Yonhap) Customers shop at a major discount store in Seoul on Tuesday. (Yonhap)

The finance ministry on Friday warned of uncertainties regarding inflation and vowed preemptive steps by extending tariff quota reduction on imports of agricultural products and boosting government reserves.

"Prices of farm produce and petroleum products have fallen recently, but uncertainties remain high over the geopolitical situation in the Middle East and weather conditions in summer," First Vice Finance Minister Kim Byoung-hwan said during an economy-related vice ministers' meeting.

As "preemptive steps," the government will extend the discount programs for dried seaweed, or gim in Korean, to help ease its soaring prices and to swiftly bring in 825 tons of imports after adjusting basic tariff rates on the item under the flexible tariff system.

The government will extend chicken supplies through an incentive system as demand is expected to rise in South Korea in summer.

It plans to monitor prices of accommodations, transportation and other travel-related products in the run-up to the vacation season, according to the ministry.

In April, consumer prices, a key gauge of inflation, fell below 3 percent for the first time in three months to come to 2.9 percent, but prices of fresh food items soared 1.91 percent on-year, driven by high-flying fruit prices. (Yonhap)