This years frequent rains have put a damper on the cabbage and radish harvest. This will likely boost their prices up to 2 to 3 times last years. Kimchi-preparing costs will soar if that happens.
According to the Korean Rural Economic Institutes Vegetable Observer Monthly report, this months wholesale upper class cabbage price is estimated to be 6,500 won per 10 kg. This is 2.3 times the price last November when it was 2,883 won.
The reason cabbage prices went up is because the growing area decreased 12 percent compared to last year, and because of frequent rain and a lack of sunshine. Overall production was reduced by 22 percent.
As for radishes, overall production fell 27 percent, putting the estimated price at 14,000 won for an 18kg bag of high-grade radishes. This is three times the price of radishes last year (4,735 won).
As cabbage and radish prices rise, last months imports of Kimchi (25,194 tons) and cabbage (644 tons) have increased by 43 percent compared to last year.