This year's potato harvest is expected to be roughly the same as last year. If last year the potatoes were flooded with rains, this year it has dried up with heat. And despite the small increase in area, this time there will be less large potatoes than usual, experts predict. At the same time, prices are still high for this time of year.
For the third week, the prices of agricultural producers for potatoes in almost all regions have been in the corridor of 20-25 rubles per kg, while a year ago at that time prices were in the range of 10-15 rubles per kg, the executive director of the Potato Union Alexei Krasilnikov told RG.
“Traditionally, in August we see a decline in prices for vegetables of the borsch set. This year the situation has changed due to the displacement of planting and sowing operations 2-3 weeks later. In addition, there are problems with the harvest - in particular in terms of size. Our farmers have learned to fight against parasites and diseases. But this year the tops are undamaged, but there are no tubers, ”says Krasilnikov.
According to him, the potato crop will be sufficient for the domestic market. But for large potatoes, which are especially loved by buyers, this year there will be an “upward price index”. Therefore, in order to curb the rise in prices, producers are now discussing with retail chains the possibility of long-term contracting and lowering requirements for the size of potatoes, says Krasilnikov.
Prices for carrots and beets have already reached last year's. Prices for cabbage and onions remain high in comparison with the same period last year, the expert says. Early cabbage has already been harvested and sold, and mass harvesting of mid-late and late cabbage in central Russia will begin by the end of September. Mass harvesting of onions will also start later. Therefore, potatoes, cabbage, and onions will become cheaper in the near future. Although it is not worth waiting for last year's prices - farmers have increased costs for fuel, transportation, fertilizers, plant protection products, the expert notes.
According to Rosstat, retail prices for borscht vegetables have been declining for several weeks in a row. Since the beginning of summer, they have decreased for potatoes by 12%, and for onions - by 7%. At the same time, the Ministry of Agriculture expects the harvest of potatoes by 5% more, and vegetables - by 3%.
Own vegetables in open ground should be enough until the new harvest, Deputy Prime Minister Victoria Abramchenko predicted a few days ago. Now we need to take care of the construction of vegetable stores and reduce transport costs. According to market participants, they increased by 20-50%.
So far, no specific decisions have been made to reduce the cost of transport costs, Krasilnikov knows. One of the options remains to compensate for the costs of farmers for transporting products within the country by analogy with export subsidies.