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Russia’s food prices to grow 9.5-10% in 2015 — economy minister

According to the Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev, the situation with high food prices may persist until the end of the first quarter of 2015

MOSCOW, December 9. /TASS/. Russia’s food prices are expected to grow by 9.5-10% in 2015, Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev said at a meeting held by President Vladimir Putin with government members on Tuesday.

“We expect food price growth at 9.5-10% at the end of next year,” the minister said.

The situation with high food prices may persist until the end of the first quarter of 2015, Ulyukayev said.

“But then, starting from the second quarter of 2015, we expect food price dynamics to slow down,” the minister added.

According to the minister, there is a whole range of factors for a slowdown in food prices, in particular, producers are adapting to new conditions and imports are being diversified.

Besides, the food price growth slowdown will be caused by trends on the global food market, Ukyukaev said, adding that "The global food price index is minus 7%.”

Food prices increase in Russia

Russia’s food prices increased by 13.1% as of December 1 from last year, Economic Development Minister said.

“As of early December, the consumer price index grew by 9.1% from last year while the food price index increased by 13.1%,” Ulyukayev said.

Food price increases were caused, in particular, by imbalances on commodity markets prompted by restrictions on the imports of some foodstuffs,” the minister noted.

“And of course, this is due to the (ruble) devaluation effect and, consequently, the growth of imported product prices,” Ulyukayev said.

According to the minister, as the Russian food market is adapting to new conditions, some indicators, in particular, meat indicators are improving.

“In November, the growth of meat prices was slower than the consumer price growth on average,” the minister said.

Prospects of food prices

Stabilization of the ruble exchange rate and development of import substitution create good conditions for a decrease of food price growth rates, Russian Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev said.

“We believe we have good prospects to overcome the price situation on the food market and on markets of other important consumer goods. Stabilization of the ruble rate, development of import substitution and diversification of supplies will allow that,” Ulyukayev said.

The system of import substitution had to be introduced in Russia in connection with imposition of Western sanctions on Russia for its position on Ukraine and Moscow’s countersanctions.