SEOUL, Feb. 23 (Korea Bizwire) – A recent report from the Korea Rural Economic Institute estimated that South Korea’s anti-corruption law will cause a drop in agricultural and livestock production of over 300 billion won ($263.76 million) this year, as the legislation forbids millions of journalists, public officials and educators from receiving gifts worth more than 50,000 won.
The law took effect on September 28 of last year, and also bans meals valued over 30,000 won and congratulatory and condolence money of more than 100,000 won.
According to the study – based on the actual year-on-year sales decline for hanwoo (Korean beef, -24.4 percent) and fruits (-31 percent) during the recent lunar new year holiday – hanwoo, fruit, and flower production is expected to plummet by 228.6 billion won, 107.4 billion won, and 39 to 43.8 billion won, respectively, in 2017.
In fact, total sales of agricultural and livestock gift sets, which used to be popular as traditional holiday presents, dropped to 12.42 billion won during the recent holiday season from 16.7 billion won in 2016 and 14.6 billion won in 2015.
This new trend was not limited to special occasions, officials said in the report, adding that the overall trade of agricultural and livestock products shrank with the introduction of the corruption law.
The wholesale price of hanwoo, for instance, dropped by 16.1 percent (from October 2016 to January 2017) despite lower supply, while trade volume for apples and pears, which usually would have soared before a traditional holiday, fell by almost 20 percent in January.
The price of orchids, which is the most popular plant to give as a gift, also plummeted by 22.6 percent (from September 28 to February 10), added officials.
By Joseph Shin (firstname.lastname@example.org)