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Friday, February 23, 2018

Potatoes more banana: why Muscovites are buying products at double the price

The June price hike caught the authorities by surprise. The leadership of the Central Bank described the monthly inflation was 0.6% with the word “shock”. The head of the Department of monetary policy of the Central Bank Igor Dmitriev has explained his dramatic off-season price increase of vegetables, it happened because of the inclement weather that swept the country in late spring — early summer. However, experts believe the consumer market is not the only cause. Its contribution to overall inflation is making exceptional price variation for certain food items — often even in neighboring regions. That is such a problem, the correspondent “MK” was convinced on own experience. As it turned out, the vegetables at the farmers ‘ fairs of the day cost the Muscovites almost two times more expensive than suburban residents to their local markets.

photo: Evgeny Semenov

Correspondent “MK” went to the local market one town near Moscow (40 km North of the capital). In a small area — soil of abundant, diverse in its geography: from South Russia to the republics of the former USSR. Prices availability please their products — the freshness and richness of the sun.

Small cabbages from Voronezh sold for 40 rubles per 1 kg. the Sellers say that they began to trade with 50-55 rubles. So we can say a slump in prices. And this despite the fact that cabbage, according to summaries Rosstat, is the absolute leader of a rise in price: the national average for the first half it rose by almost 200%.

Rostov green pepper in our market also fell from 120 to 100. Krasnodar potatoes sold for 30 rubles, Uzbek bow — 40, Azerbaijan carrots — 60. Rostov tomatoes — 130 and the most expensive — yellow — 200.

And now look at the price tags fair weekend in the capital. Strawberry — 350-380 rubles, potatoes 65-80 rubles, cabbage and carrots — 65, tomato — 200-250, cucumbers — 110. It seems that these vegetables no seasonal decline in prices is not threatened. For a month, they have not lost a penny.

Old ladies, walking past the farmer’s stalls, do not hesitate in expressions: “that’s crazy, what a price! How do they wind! Potatoes more bananas!” The opinion of the Metropolitan pensioners, it shares Dmitry Yanin, Chairman, International Confederation of societies of consumers: “consumer prices are very high, he obviously has to pay more”.

Cyril Lachine, principal analyst at National horticultural Union, more specific in the evaluation: “to Explain this high cost can be only one. Under the guise of farmers who come to the capital on Friday morning at fairs are often hidden middlemen. They buy from real farmers, their produce and sell it at an inflated price”. Thus is formed a chain of “markups” that bid up the price at least twice. To illustrate this thesis Lachine brought the purchase price from two weeks ago: potato — 17 rubles per 1 kg, carrots — 16, cabbage, onion and 15, and beets — 12. Comment here is nothing is enough to compare with the prices on the shelves…

Actually this beneficial to all farmer to sell quickly and return home. Well, pseudoternary ready to sit around over a foreign potatoes for 65 rubles per kilo waiting for wealthy buyers. Slight discounts possible, but only towards the end of Sunday, when the fairs it is time to wrap it up.

Elena Tyurin, the General Director of Institute of agrarian marketing, for its part considers that these products may not be cheap, as they are more high quality and environmentally friendly. Their higher cost, including by reason of the presence in the production of manual labor. Large agricultural holdings have more opportunities, respectively, and the price is lower. The main problem, according to the expert, is different: “Sometimes products that are sold as a farm, is not such, but is replaced by the same agricultural holdings or even imports. The task to separate farm products from other is designed to solve the mandatory certification and the adoption of the law on organic production”.

But these legislative innovations — in the future, and they will not give 100 percent guarantee to the consumer. One party can do to meet the high farm level with the required certificate, but others have not.

In Soviet times of shortages, the inhabitants of the near and far suburbs, usually bought food in the capital. Trains in which the people were carrying food, went down in history as the “sausage”. Now all abundance, but the wild range of prices, it is possible, again it will cause people to go on trains for available food. Only now they will now move in the opposite direction — from the capital to the region, and do these trains probably call a “vegetable”.


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