Rosstat has clarified data on the dynamics of consumer prices in 2018. While the general inflation rate was 4,3%, food (excluding alcoholic beverages) rose in price by an average of 5,1%, but the rise in prices for some goods was several times higher than this indicator.
The leader in price growth last year was millet, which rose in price by 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. This dynamics is the result of a decline in production. Last year, the sowing of millet in Russia against the background of unfavorable market conditions decreased to 260 thousand hectares, over three years the area for agricultural crops decreased 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 - became the most expensive. For comparison, rice in June cost about 68,3 rubles / kg, buckwheat - 50,2 rubles / kg. According to Rosstat, in the week from June 25 to July 1, millet added another 0,5% in price. As the magazine "Agroinvestor" wrote earlier, this year industry experts predict an increase in millet crops and an increase in production to more than 400 thousand tons, which may contribute to lower prices.
Also, following the results of last year, Rosstat noted a significant increase in prices for some vegetables. The most significant increase was observed in the cost of cabbage (by 72,8%); the dynamics of the cost of onions (+ 23,7%), beets (+ 23%), and carrots (+ 20%) was also double-digit. However, tomatoes, on the contrary, became cheaper by 10,6%, cucumbers - by 6%. This year, prices for cabbage continued to rise until May, when they reached a peak of almost 60 rubles / kg, but by July they fell to 36,7 rubles / kg, it follows from Rosstat data. The increase was due to lower prices in previous years, which led to a decrease in production and storage of cabbage, as a result of which the traditional seasonal increase in prices was so noticeable. Tomatoes and cucumbers, in turn, are getting cheaper as their production in the country is growing thanks 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 in price 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 vegetables and fruits will be at the standard level: the main decrease in prices will begin in July and will continue until the first frost. For the week from June 25 to July 1, fruits and vegetables became cheaper by an average of 1,1%. Including the price of cabbage decreased by 12,2%, cucumbers - by 7,2%, tomatoes - by 6,9%, onions - by 2%.
The rise in prices for sugar (28,3%), eggs (25,9%), chilled and frozen chickens (20,7%) was also much higher than the inflation rate last year, Rosstat calculated. The dynamics of sugar prices were driven by a recovery in prices after a decrease of almost 24% in 2017, while by July 1 it was 7,2% less than in December 2018. With production forecast close to record this year, poor export performance and low world prices, sugar prices are likely to continue to decline. The increase in broiler prices was associated with a slowdown in production growth and an imbalance in supply and demand. In addition, in 2017, prices were at a low level and in December were about 126 rubles / kg against 138,5 rubles / kg in December 2016. In June this year, retail chicken cost an average of 143,8 rubles / kg, having fallen in price since the beginning of the year by more than 9 rubles / kg. Outbreaks of bird flu also affected the prices of poultry products: 15 Russian regions were unfavorable for this disease, according to the Rosselkhoznadzor. 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, the prices for which decreased the most at the end of 2018: it fell by 15,8% in annual terms. The buckwheat market is actually isolated from the whole world, because buckwheat is eaten mainly only in Russia, Daria Snitko, head of the Gazprombank Center for Economic Forecasting, explained to RBC. “As soon as the harvest is big, all producers have stocks that they want to sell off quickly. This is exactly what happened last year, "she explained, stressing that buckwheat yields are volatile:" It is very difficult to program the optimal volume of production for the market in order to avoid price shocks. "
At the end of May, inflation was 5,1% against May last year, according to Rosstat data. In June, the dynamics of the consumer price index was zero relative to May, while the statistics department recorded deflation in the category of food products: they fell by 0,5%, taking into account fruits and vegetables. Without it, food prices rose by 0,1%.