Price of gasoline in Ryanggang Province drops by almost 17% in…

first_img Price of gasoline in Ryanggang Province drops by almost 17% in a week News SHARE Kang Mi JinKang Mi JinKang Mi Jin is a North Korean defector turned journalist who fled North Korea in 2009. She has a degree in economics and writes largely on marketization and economy-related issues for Daily NK. Questions about her articles can be directed to [email protected] News Facebook Twitter NewsEconomy RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHORcenter_img News By Kang Mi Jin – 2018.02.28 3:33pm The market price of gasoline in Ryanggang Province, North Korea has recently fallen to around 13,000 KPW per kg after skyrocketing to a record high of 25,000 KPW per kg in the fall of 2017, which many believed was a knock-on effect of international sanctions. A source in Ryanggang Province told Daily NK on February 27 that prices have been steadily dropping, going from 13 RMB (15,250 KPW) to 11 RMB (12,700 KPW) in the past week alone. “It’s common to hear drivers and fuel merchants say that Russia is the source of the gasoline,” he said. “People have said that from the end of last year, North Korean laborers in Russia have been purchasing gasoline and diesel with the money they earn and bringing it back to the North, and just as an empty fireplace cannot produce smoke, I think there’s merit to the rumors.”The latest drop is yet another sign that smuggling and other dealings with China and Russia are having an effect on the price of goods in the North Korean markets. The decline also comes on the heels of a sudden 5,000 KPW drop in gasoline prices at the end of last year, which rumors attributed to help from China. The source explained that new mutually beneficial relationships have formed between North Korean smugglers and Chinese traders after international sanctions began cutting off official trade options over the last few years.“China and Russia have become blood brothers to North Koreans over the decades, and so North Koreans have worked to maintain close relationships knowing that the situation could get much worse if these relations are allowed to deteriorate,” the source said.An additional source in Ryanggang Province added, “Smuggling networks continue to thrive even under the economic blockade, and most people believe that even if China blocks trade, Russia will step in to fill the void.”Residents are welcoming the drop in gasoline prices, he said, with merchants who rely on service (transportation/logistics services for delivering goods) especially thankful for the lower costs.However, not everybody is satisfied with the current state of affairs, considering ongoing price fluctuations over the past year and the fact that today’s gasoline prices are still far greater than the 8,000 KPW per kg price of March 2017.“Some people are stockpiling fuel now because they don’t know when the price will suddenly go up again, but most do not have enough money to do this,” he explained.“If international sanctions continue, people won’t be able to eat or make a living, and life will get harder.” US dollar and Chinese reminbi plummet against North Korean won once again North Korea Market Price Update: June 8, 2021 (Rice and USD Exchange Rate Only) Proposal to shift “general markets” to “specialized markets” finds little support among N. Korean leaderslast_img read more