The state cannot yet provide agriculture with the available infrastructure necessary for the prompt delivery of tasty and healthy goods to the domestic consumer, and also does not provide producers with the necessary storage areas for preserving quality products until the start of the new season. Farmers joke that in this situation, it will be more convenient for officials to feed domestic citizens not with potatoes or apples, but with pineapples.
There are no fears of a rise in prices for the entire product line yet. According to Rosstat data, on the whole, since the beginning of the year, inflation has remained at the level of 3%, and in mid-July, the cost of basic products increased by only 0.1%. The data cited by the officials look somewhat controversial: on the one hand, in July, consumer prices rose by only 0.2%, and since the beginning of the year, their growth did not exceed 2.7%. It is hoped that by the end of the year inflation will settle within the limits set by the state – 4%. Roughly speaking, if a kilogram of apples in January cost 100 rubles, then by the New Year’s celebration their price will not exceed half the level of five – that is, at an inflation rate of 4–5%.
According to Mikhail Glushkov, director of the National Union of Fruit and Vegetable Producers, in the first months of summer, the dominance of imported products is traditionally observed on the shelves of Russian grocery stores. This year, however, there were certain delays in the supply of imports, which was due to transport restrictions associated with the coronavirus. Therefore, the supply of apples on the domestic market was significantly limited.
“Our country has enough of its own products,” notes Elmira Krylatykh, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, member of the Academic Council of RANEPA. – There is no logistics that allows to fully collect fruit and vegetable crops, process and store vitamins. Therefore, in the autumn-winter period, tons of apples and potatoes are actually sent under the knife. “
“Last year our country saw a bountiful harvest of apples and an oversupply in the market. There is no need to make gloomy forecasts: in Russia they do not calculate the “apple index”, counting from it the prices for all fruit products. However, it is still not clear why to import food products from foreign countries for euros and dollars. It is better to master the Russian agrarian market, ”says Andrei Loboda, top manager of the IAC“ Alpari ”.
“The development of the market for highly cultured products is just the tip of the iceberg. Apples are just a small area of agricultural advancement that we could do well. Even small plots located in the Moscow region or next to other large domestic megalopolises could yield two or even three harvests per year. However, the majority of farmers have to feed the pigs with organic and vitamin-rich fruits, the meat of which can then be easily sold to the appropriate retail outlets, ”says Elmira Krylatykh.
“Private research says that the cost of a business lunch over the summer in Russia has grown to 10%. The reason for this is the rise in the price of food: due to the coronavirus pandemic, many companies were unable to return to full-fledged work, so demand dropped significantly, which, coupled with the rise in prices for products, led to an increase in prices, ”experts say.
According to Rosstat estimates, in recent months, carrots have risen the most in food prices – by 2.6%. In addition, prices for sugar, pork and buckwheat increased significantly. “If apples become more expensive, you can get sick. You can believe that the harvest is poor. If buckwheat becomes more expensive, and at the moment when its deficit is not confirmed by anything, the increase in food prices is already guaranteed, ”says Vasily Uzun, chief researcher at the Center for Agri-Food Policy of the RANEPA.