As early as the end of July, prices of the main ingredients of the so-called “borsch kit” are expected to fall, the Ministry of Economic Development reported citing agriculture officials who said that the new harvest would decrease prices.
Currently imported, the “borsch kit” is understood as the minimum of products needed to cook the popular soup. It includes cabbage, beets, carrots, potatoes, garlic, and onions. Onions have become cheaper at last but potato prices have hiked twice since the beginning of the year, and carrot prices have jumped 2.4 times. In general, the cost of vegetables has grown not as fast as in the previous reporting period. At the end of June, inflation accelerated by 0.23%, which was significantly higher than in the previous two weeks.
Finally, July came. Wholesalers and retailers gradually began to receive vegetables of the new harvest. The market responded by decreasing the cost of the “borsch kit.” According to Rosstat, during the first week of July potato prices fell by 4.9% (with the monthly decrease amounting to 3.5%) and carrot prices by 6.4% (down 3.1% over June). The price of cucumbers and tomatoes also kept falling (4.8% and 4.4% in the first week of July and a monthly decrease of 15% and 18.5%, respectively). The price of onions rose by 0.4% over a week and declined by 11.1% over a month. As for the price of white cabbage, it is down by a record 22.2% from the same period last year.
During the recent phone-in session with Russian President Vladimir Putin, a woman asked him why bananas from Ecuador were cheaper than carrots from a neighboring region. The woman recorded a video in a store showing the price tags where bananas cost 78 rubles ($1.05) per kilogram, and carrots cost 110 rubles ($1.48.) Putin replied that, unfortunately, Russia still did not have enough fruits and vegetables of its own to meet consumer demand, so they had to be imported from abroad. He called the rise in food prices a global trend.
Meanwhile, it seems that Russian producers have decided to run counter to the world trend as far as possible. Thus, Mikhail Glushkov, head of the National Fruit and Vegetable Union, said that the active harvesting of field vegetables had influenced the prices of tomatoes and cucumbers which had been falling for several weeks. As for the “unfortunate” carrots broached during Putin’s question and answer session, the supply of Krasnodar carrots started, said Glushkov. Domestic carrots will be 10 rubles ($0.13) cheaper on average than imported ones.
“Of course, the sharp drop in price will not immediately have an impact on the statistics, but as imports are substituted, the cost of carrots will decrease every week,” Glushkov said confidently.