SEOUL, Jan. 13 (Korea Bizwire) – Consumer prices of Starbucks coffee, Chilean wine, soda, beef and imported snacks in Seoul are the highest among other competing cities. Of note, the price of a Starbucks Americano is 2.3 times higher than that of New York.
On January 12, Consumer Korea, a local civic group, released a report surveying consumer prices of 42 different commodities and foodstuffs in June and October of last year in 13 cities. The survey showed that Seoul ranked in the top five most expensive cities for 35 food and drink items.
For example, Starbucks coffee chains in Seoul sell the most expensive tall-sized cup of Americano in the world for 4,100 won (US$3.78), exceeding the price of same coffee in Paris (4,023 won), Beijing (3,679 won), Tokyo (3,633 won) and Amsterdam (3,614 won), the report showed. Seoul’s price is 65.5 percent higher than the cheapest cup of Americano, which is sold in New York (1,806 won).
Chilean wine (Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon) was also the most expensive in Seoul. The premium red wine cost 43,000 won in the South Korean capital, nearly 10 percent more than in Taipei, where it went for 39,410 won.
Prices of meat in Korea were also among the high-cost items. Home-bred beef sirloin was the most expensive among the 13 cities, and imported beef sirloin in Seoul was the third most expensive.
Korean consumers expected that they would pay less for imported foods thanks to recent free trade agreements. However, complex distribution systems instead led to hikes in consumer prices. The price of cherries shipped in from the U. S., for instance, has gone down 19 percent since the South Korea-U.S. FTA went into effect in 2012, but the price for consumers has jumped 42.4 percent.
The cities surveyed in the report included Seoul, New York, Beijing, Tokyo, Berlin, Paris, London, Milan, Toronto, Sydney, Madrid, Amsterdam and Taipei.
By John Choi (firstname.lastname@example.org)