Amid steep hikes in the cost of vegetables, finance minister Choo Kyung-ho has announced plans to inject additional volumes of napa cabbage into the market ahead of the upcoming kimchi-making season, also known as "gimjang".
Presiding over a price monitoring meeting on Monday, minister Choo said the government will release state reserves of napa cabbage early in a proactive move to stabilize prices until imports of napa cabbage and radishes arrive next month.
The minister said around 600 tons of napa cabbage would be imported for kimchi-making by late September, about ten days sooner than originally planned. Additional relief measures will be announced next month.
Supply of napa cabbage has been low even ahead of the Chuseok holiday earlier this month, as heavy rains brought by Typhoon Hinnamnor destroyed supply. According to Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation, the wholesale price of ten kilograms of Napa cabbage as of September 16 had jumped 116-point-six percent on-year to 32-thousand-940 won.
Some supermarkets have begun selling out of pre-made kimchi, according to local reports.
The government says it will reinforce the daily monitoring of rising food prices and actively seek stability by engaging in negotiations with industry players.
It will also extend subsidies for diesel vehicle drivers, set to end this month, by another three months to help ease price pressures felt by the people.