Russian food prices jump amid heatwave: official

18th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

Food prices in Russia, especially of grain-based products like bread, jumped over the last week as the effects of a record heatwave and drought fed into the economy, statistics said Wednesday.

State statistics organisation Rosstat said inflation for the week August 10-August 16 was 0.2 percent and 0.4 percent since the start of the month, considerably highter than the rate before the heatwave.

The heatwave and ensuing drought have ruined one-quarter of Russia's crops, raising fears of a squeeze on basic food supplies and prices rising as demand outstrips supply.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has already announced a controversial ban on grain exports until the end of the year in order to keep the Russian market well-supplied.

From August 10-16, prices of the staple Russian food buckwheat rose an astonishing 7.3 percent while flour jumped 2.8 percent. Milk rose 1.2 percent and butter was 1.1 percent more expensive.

Bread, a crucial component of the Russian diet which is consumed with almost every meal, rose 1.0 percent while sugar rose 0.6 percent. Meat prices were less affected.

© 2010 AFP

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