Tag Archives: Exchange Rate

Price instability in Hyesan

Rice & Iron team has been interested in the city of Hyesan for a long time. While rice prices in this border city are often higher than those in Pyongyang and Sinuiju, Hyesan has traditionally enjoyed lower price volatility relative … Continue reading

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July to July assessment, 2014

Last July, we provided an assessment of the yearly changes in rice prices and speculated on what the movements revealed about the market conditions in North Korea. In that article, we noted then that the nominal price of rice had … Continue reading

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Purchasing power of foreign exchange and Pyongyang’s dilemma

Channeling the works of Amartya Sen, we at Rice & Iron have often argued that the price of food and the people’s command over income matter far more than the country’s aggregate grain output. Therefore, indices such as wages and … Continue reading

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Monetary stability and food security

Three North Korean cities are weathering the test of the lean season. According to Daily NK, rice prices in Pyongyang, Sinuiju, and Hyesan have remained below 4000 KPW/kg in the second week of May, falling slightly below what they had … Continue reading

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The worrisome decline in food consumption in 2013

One inevitably runs into a myriad of unknowns when researching any aspect of North Korea – we at Rice and Iron are certainly no strangers to inconsistencies in data. This post will quickly shed light on one such mystery. Conventional … Continue reading

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Eating boots, dreaming of pork: food security and the budget deficit in 2014

The lean months are coming to the DPRK. From May through August, North Korean farms will be sowing and growing key crops like rice, maize, and soybean while consuming what remains of the harvest from last fall. Although winter and … Continue reading

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Who will buy Kim Il Sung’s bling?

image via coinshome.net The story goes that in 1972, the North Korean state planned to cast a 65-foot tall gold statue of Kim Il Sung to celebrate his 60th birthday. When Pyongyang’s irate economic patrons in Beijing confronted the North … Continue reading

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