It turns out that fruit prices have a significant impact on inflation.

According to the Ministry of Strategy and Finance and the National Statistics Portal of the National Statistical Office, the contribution of 'fault' to consumer prices last month was 0.4 percentage points, the highest in 13 years since January 2011 (0.4 percentage points).

Considering that the inflation rate in January was 2.8%, fruit drove up one-seventh of the total inflation.

Fruit prices include apples, pears, peaches, grapes, chestnuts, persimmons, tangerines, oranges, melons, watermelons, strawberries, bananas, kiwis, blueberries, mangoes, cherries, avocados, pineapples, and almonds.

In last month's price index, apples and pears showed a sharp increase of 56.8% and 41.2%, respectively, compared to the same month last year.

Even considering the structure in which discount support from the government and large supermarkets is not reflected in Statistics Korea's indicators, the high price of fruit is clear.

Last year's abnormal climate, combined with anthracnose and hail during the harvest season, resulted in poor harvests, and unlike other agricultural, livestock, and marine products, there are many items that are difficult to replace with imported tropical fruits, so 'controlling fruit prices' is not easy.

One official said, “On the supply side, it will take time for summer fruits to be shipped in earnest or for shipments of apples and pears to recover.”

(Photo = Yonhap News)