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Food Prices Forecast to Keep Rising

Published: May 12, 2008 (Issue # 1372)


Food prices in Russia are expected to rise steadily now that a temporary price freeze on “basic essentials — such as milk, flour and oil — has been lifted since May 1.

Both analysts and businessmen forecast a drastic rise in inflation.

The government froze the price of some sorts of white and black bread, milk, kefir, vegetable oil, and eggs in October last year when prices suddenly went up. In January, the agreement with food manufacturers was prolonged.

However, food prices have continued to rise. Prices grew by 1.4 percent in April, and by 6.3 percent in the first four months of the year, Fontanka.ru reported.

Prices for vegetable oil and flour rose the most with the price of vegetable oil in March going up by 4.6 percent and by 8.6 percent in April, the Russian State Statistics Committee or RSSC said.

A regular bottle of vegetable oil in St. Petersburg cost about 50 rubles ($2) in April but by May it cost up to 80 rubles ($3.25). In September last year it cost about 28 rubles ($1.10).

In April, the 23.7 percent increase in the price of bread in St. Petersburg was the sharpest in Russia, the RSSC said.

The prices for vegetables in Russia also increased significantly in April with the price of cabbages rising by 24.2 percent, carrots by 13.3 percent and beets by 12.2 percent.

The price of eggs, pasta, and millet increased last week by between 1 percent and 1.2 percent. Today, a dozen eggs costs a natinoal average of 35 rubles ($1.40).

The price of gasoline has also risen sharply — by 6.8 percent — since the beginning of this year. Analysts predict that the cost of gasoline will exceed the $1-per-liter mark this summer.

Meanwhile, St. Petersburg authorities will prolong a local price freeze on milk and eggs. In April, milk and egg prices were held at 22 rubles (90 cents) for a dozen eggs and 23 to 27 rubles ($1) for a liter of milk (2.5 percent fat). Sour cream (15 percent fat) will cost 29 rubles for half a kilo, and kefir will cost 24-25 rubles per liter.

The citywide agreements will continue until June 30, and may be prolonged after that, Fontanka.ru said.

Alexei Sergei, head of St. Petersburg’s Economic Development, Policy and Trade Committee, said the city authorities will continue the policy of price regulation in St. Petersburg throughout 2008.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Jan. 29



Attend a master class on how to deal with complicated business negotiations today at the International Banking Institute, 6 Malaya Sadovaya Ulitsa. Running from 3 to 6 p.m., Vadim Sokolov, an assistant professor at the St. Petersburg State University of Economics, will introduce aspects of managing the negotiation process and increasing its effectiveness. Attendance is free with pre-registration by telephone on 909 3056 or online at www.ibispb.ru



Celebrate what would be writer Anton Chekhov's 155th birthday at the Bokvoed bookshop at 46 Nevsky Prospekt. Starting at 5 p.m., the legendary author will be feted with readings of his stories and short performances based on his plays by various St. Petersburg actors. Chekhov's books will also be offered at a 15% discount during the event.



Friday, Jan. 30



The Lermontov Central Library, 19 Liteyny Prospekt, will screen 'Almost Famous’ in English with Russian subtitles at 6:30 p.m. Cameron Crowe's Academy Award-winning comedy from 2000 stars Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, and Patrick Fugit, and tells the story of a budding music journalist at Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970s. Admission is free.



Meet renowned Russian poet, journalist and writer Dmitry Bykov, famous for his biographies of Boris Pasternak, Bulat Okudzhava and Maxim Gorky, and winner of 2006 National Bestseller Award. Bykov will read old and new poems as well as answer questions about his works at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Main Hall, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at 1,000 rubles and are available at city ticket offices and the from the Philharmonic website www.philharmonia.spb.ru.



A retrospective of the films of Roman Polanski starts today at Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt, with a screening of ‘Repulsion’ at 7 p.m. and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ at 9:15 p.m. The series runs through Feb. 4 and will include Polanski's eminently creepy ‘The Tenant,’ the cult comedy ‘The Fearless Vampire Killers’ and ‘Cul-de-sac’ among others. Tickets are 150-200 rubles and the complete schedule is available at www.vk.com/artpokaz/



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