Rosstat clarified data on the dynamics of consumer prices in 2018. While the general inflation rate was 4,3%, food (excluding alcoholic beverages) rose by an average of 5,1%, however, the increase in prices for some goods exceeded this indicator by several times.
The leader in price growth last year was millet, which rose 73,6%. If in December 2017 in retail this cereal cost about 31,5 rubles / kg, then in December 2018 it was almost 56 rubles / kg, and the cost continues to increase. So, in May, it exceeded 77 rubles / kg. Such dynamics is the result of a decline in production. Last year, millet crops in Russia against the backdrop of unfavorable market conditions fell to 260 thousand hectares; over the past three years, the area under agricultural crops has decreased by more than 2,5 times. The harvest amounted to 217 thousand tons, while the market demand is estimated at 450-500 thousand tons. As a result, millet - previously one of the cheapest cereals - has become the most expensive. For comparison, rice in June cost about 68,3 rubles / kg, buckwheat - 50,2 rubles / kg. According to the Federal State Statistics Service, during the week from June 25 to July 1, millet added another 0,5%. As Agroinvestor magazine previously wrote, this year, industry experts predict an increase in millet crops and an increase in production of more than 400 thousand tons, which may contribute to lower prices.
Also, last year, Rosstat noted a significant increase in prices for some vegetables. Most significantly increased the cost of cabbage (by 72,8%), also the double-digit dynamics of the value of onions (+ 23,7%), beets (+ 23%), carrots (+ 20%). However, tomatoes, on the contrary, became cheaper by 10,6%, cucumbers - by 6%. This year, prices for cabbage continued to increase until May, when they reached a peak of almost 60 rubles / kg, but by July they had fallen to 36,7 rubles / kg, according to Rosstat. The growth was associated with low prices in previous years, which led to a decrease in production and bookmarking of cabbage for storage, as a result of the traditional seasonal price increase was so noticeable. Tomatoes and cucumbers, in turn, are becoming cheaper because their production in the country is growing due to the development of the greenhouse industry. If in December 2017, cucumbers cost an average of 148,3 rubles / kg, and tomatoes - 142,6 rubles / kg, then in December 2018 - 141,4 and 128,7 rubles / kg, respectively. By June, the cost of cucumbers dropped to an average of 84,6 rubles / kg, tomatoes fell to 107,3 rubles / kg.
Earlier, the Fruit and Vegetable Union predicted that, since the weather conditions are generally favorable, the seasonal decline in prices for fruits and vegetables will be at a standard level: the main decrease in value will begin in July and will continue until the first frost. During the week from June 25 to July 1, fruits and vegetables became cheaper by an average of 1,1%. Including the price of cabbage fell by 12,2%, cucumbers - by 7,2%, tomatoes - by 6,9%, onions - by 2%.
Also much higher than the inflation rate last year was an increase in prices for sugar (28,3%), eggs (25,9%), chilled and frozen chickens (20,7%), Rosstat calculated. The dynamics of the price of sugar was determined by the recovery in prices after a decrease of almost 24% in 2017, while by July 1 it cost 7,2% less than in December 2018. Since production this year is forecasted to be close to a record, exports are developing poorly and world prices are low, sugar prices will obviously continue to decline. Broiler price increases were associated with a slowdown in production growth and an imbalance in supply and demand. In addition, in 2017 prices were low and in December amounted to about 126 rubles / kg against 138,5 rubles / kg in December 2016. In June of this year, chicken in retail cost an average of 143,8 rubles / kg, having fallen in price by more than 9 rubles / kg since the beginning of the year. Outbreaks of bird flu also affected the prices of poultry products: according to the Rosselkhoznadzor, 15 Russian regions were dysfunctional for this disease. Outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza, in particular, were in the Rostov, Voronezh, Kursk, Samara and Penza regions.
Buckwheat turned out to be the leader among the goods whose prices fell most of all by the end of 2018: it fell by 15,8% in annual terms. The buckwheat market is virtually isolated from the whole world, because buckwheat is mainly eaten only in Russia, explained Daria Snitko, head of the Gazprombank Economic Forecasting Center, to RBC. “As soon as the harvest is large, all manufacturers have stocks that they seek to sell quickly. This is exactly what happened last year, ”she explained, stressing that buckwheat yields are volatile:“ It is very difficult to program the optimal production for the market to avoid price shocks. ”
According to the results of May, inflation amounted to 5,1% compared to May last year, follows from the data of Rosstat. In June, the dynamics of the consumer price index was zero relative to May, while the statistics agency recorded deflation in the category of food products: they fell by 0,5% taking into account fruits and vegetables. Without it, food prices rose 0,1%.