The rise in prices is expected for various groups of goods, including bread, meat, milk and fish, the producers said in a conversation with Lenta.ru. According to them, this is due both to general inflation, which affects the rise in production costs, and to crises in certain industries due to personnel shortages, animal diseases and other things.
Vice-President of the Russian Grain Union Alexander Korbut noted that an increase in prices for bakery products is inevitable due to the growth of inflation, which naturally affected the rise in the cost of production: utility bills, logistics, packaging and others.
“Nevertheless, according to my estimates, the rise in prices will be below the general level of food inflation. There is quite active state control, administrative pressure, so that no one is interested in a sharp rise in prices. At least representatives of trade, because this will inevitably reduce the turnover of products, ”the expert noted.
He also drew attention to the fact that bread, like any other food, can be of different types, produced for consumers with different demand and purchasing power. A wide range of goods, the so-called first line, which is in demand among most groups of the population, should not rise in price. Everything else depends on private producers.
“In any case, I believe that prices will rise within 7.4 percent, and most likely less, while remaining within the predicted inflation,” concluded Korbut.
The head of the executive committee of the National Meat Association, Sergei Yushin, noted a serious crisis in the country’s agricultural sector, caused by a staff shortage due to low wages and other factors. Livestock, for example, he said, suffered financial losses due to animal diseases such as African swine fever and avian flu. Manufacturers are trying to contain the rise in prices even against such an unfavorable background, thanks to which the industry remains one of the most stable.
“Over the past six years, prices for pork on bone have increased by 12.3 percent, and for boneless – by 9.6 percent. Chickens have risen in price by 29.4 percent, beef by 22. Quite within the inflation, taking into account the time period, – the expert noted. – Nevertheless, unfavorable factors may result in a rise in prices in this market as well. But if we manage to increase production at the largest poultry farms, the situation should remain stable. “
Yushin associates the recent jump in prices with “stressful purchases” – the meat processing plants are already starting to prepare for the New Year’s sales and are stocking up on raw materials for the production of delicacies.
“The production of some of them takes two months, and in December they should already be on the shelves,” the expert explained. – Unfulfilled contracts promise meat processing plants with fines and simply lack of potential profit. So they were simply afraid of the lack of raw materials and began to buy more, which gave an additional rise in prices. Nevertheless, if it is possible to restore production in full, to the scale of last year, this will become a stabilizing factor, and prices, if they rise, will not exceed the inflation rate. “
The situation on the vegetable market turned out to be more complicated. If the prices for tomatoes and cucumbers are growing within the framework of inflation and seasonal factors, then, as noted by the executive director of the National Fruit and Vegetable Union Mikhail Glushkov, he has not seen such high prices for the “borscht set” in the entire history of his practice.
“If we take the cost of cucumbers and tomatoes now, then it is at the level of 2019. I’m not talking about 2020, because that year was extremely atypical for greenhouse vegetables: we fell into self-isolation, restaurants and cafes were closed, and greenhouses continued to produce. Accordingly, supply exceeded demand and prices turned out to be abnormally low. Consequently, in comparison with last year, they grew by five to seven percent, which remains within the framework of inflation, ”Glushkov stressed.
Unusually high prices are now observed for vegetables from the “borsch set”: potatoes, beets, carrots, cabbage, onions. This, according to the expert, is due to extremely unfavorable seasonal factors, due to which a significant part of the crop was simply not harvested.
“In my practice, this has never happened,” the expert noted. – Usually now these vegetables are sold at the lowest prices, but this time we faced unpleasant weather conditions. Firstly, it was late spring, due to which the vegetables were planted two weeks later. Secondly, cold and rainy September. The vegetables in the fields are ripe, but they simply did not have time to be dug up, about 40 percent remained in the ground. Of course, this influenced prices: there has never been such a low supply, which spurred the market. “
Glushkov added that if the regions manage to harvest in the near future, prices will gradually go down. If not, the situation will continue to develop according to a not very favorable scenario.
Director General of the National Union of Milk Producers Artem Belov noted that for two years the dynamics of price growth for dairy products is lower than the average on the food shelf. Despite this, the cost of production has grown significantly, which may promise problems in the near future.
“The cost of production of raw milk by 16-18 percent, finished dairy products – by 12-14. Thus, the rise in prices did not compensate for the increased level of costs, the profitability of production and processing decreased, which creates serious risks for the long-term sustainable development of the industry as a whole, ”the expert noted.
He added that so far, a sharp rise in prices for the consumer should not be expected, since dairy products are socially significant.
Deputy Chairman of the Fish Union Sergei Gudkov said that, despite the absence of clear preconditions for an increase in fish prices, with the exception of seasonal fluctuations, they still increase faster than some other food products.
“We have to admit that over the past nine months since the beginning of this year, prices for fish, especially for some species, have grown faster than for other food products. Thus, the price of fishermen for pollock increased by 15 percent (from 65 rubles to 75 rubles per kilogram), for Atlantic mackerel by 26 percent (from 155 rubles to 195 rubles), for flounder – from 185 rubles to 250 rubles. At the same time, it is necessary to take into account trends in the world market – prices for all food products have increased by 33 percent over the past 12 months, which in the long term cannot but affect the growth of prices for domestic fish, since it is widely competing on the world market, ”concluded the interlocutor of “Lenta.ru”.
Earlier it became known that the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade sharply worsened the inflation forecast for 2021 in Russia. The department believes that it will rise to 7.4 percent instead of the previously expected 5.8 percent. According to the Ministry of Finance, sugar (plus 38.1 percent), sunflower oil (plus 27.3 percent) and eggs (plus 15.4 percent) went up the most of the products.