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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. Petersburgs 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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Start your weekend with adorable miniature pigs at the Squealing Pig festival at 7 p.m. this evening in the Karl & Friedrich restaurant, 15 Iozhnaya doroga, on Krestovsky Island.



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