South Korean inflation is seen reaching its peak by September or October unless there are price surges again for such items as oil and grains, the country's finance minister said on Monday.

"I think the pace of price growth will probably reach its peak in late September, or in October at the latest, when taking into account the current trend of prices," Minister Choo Kyung-ho said in response to a question from reporters.

South Korea's annual rate of inflation hit 6.0% in June, its highest since November 1998 when the country was still struggling to recover from the Asia financial crisis. (Reporting by Choonsik Yoo; Editing by Toby Chopra)