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Russia: Orange prices increase by more than half in a year

Prices of oranges over the course of a year increased by 57.4% - the cost in September exceeded €1.43 per kilo, according to data from Rosstat. The prices for apples, pears and bananas increased by about a third.

Data published by Rosstat reveals that in September 2015 the main fruits increased in price on average by between 30-50% in comparison with September 2014. Oranges showed the greatest increase of 57.4% to €1.43 a kilo, apples increased by 34.4% to €1.31 a kilo, pears increased by 31.1% to €1.83, grapes by 32.6% to €2.14 and bananas by 28.1% to €0.92.

The increase in the price of bananas in September compared to August this year amounted to 16.23% - the highest rate of growth of consumer prices for basic goods and services, according to Rosstat’s information. The highest price of bananas was recorded in January this year, at which time the retail price for 1 kg reached a 15-year high, topping €1.00.

"For imported fruit it is simple - price growth is related to the changes in exchange rates,” said director of the industry portal FruitNews Irina Koziy. Director general of the Institute for Agricultural Market Studies, Dmitry Rylko agrees with her: "Last year, the embargo was only beginning to come into force, and this year it is starting to work to its full potential."

On the validity of the data from Rosstat, Russian importers say. "On average, because of the exchange rate differences, the value of fruits and berries in September 2015 compared with the previous year increased by 30-40%," remarked the representative of Metro Oksana Tokarev.

According to Koziy, imported fruits occupy about 90% of the market: “We grow around 100 tons of citrus fruit in total, in Russia no bananas are grown at all.” Apples, according to her, are the most prosperous category in terms of domestic fruit production. Rosstat states that, Russia produces about 40% of their apples. "There are certain difficulties with this data because Rosstat takes industrial apples into account,” says Koziy. “If you talk about commodity apples, 70-80% of this category are imported."

According to the representative of Metro, Oksana Tokareva, apples are virtually the only category of fruit, where imports could almost completely be substituted. 

According to the Federal Customs Service’s data, for the year from July 2014 to July 2015, deliveries to Russia of all major types of fruit have decreased: the import of pears has decreased by 39% to 264,000 tons, of apples - by 35%, to 811,000 tons, citrus fruits - by 5.8%, to 1,600 tons. The main suppliers are Ecuador (1.2 million tons), Turkey (906,000 tons) and Belarus (672,000 tons).

Belarus has become one of the major exporters of fruit to Russia after the introduction of the food embargo. In particular, the supply of pears from Belarus increased during the period by 2.84 times, up to 96,000 tons, apples increased by 96%, to 337,000 tons, citrus fruits - by 60% to 27,000 tons. In addition, Belarus took the first place in Russia for the supply of kiwifruit: an increase of 151% in the volume of 10,000 tons.

According to the head of the Institute of Agricultural Marketing, Elena Tyurin, to the end of December, bananas, oranges and some other "New Year" fruit may grow by an average of 40% compared to current prices. "We are making such an assessment on the basis of the seasonal factor," explained Tyurin.

According to the Koziy, apples, bananas and citrus comprise the three main types of fruit which Russians consume, and bananas are very popular during the cold season. As shown by data released last week, on the basis of an opinion poll by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center: VCIOM, more than 60% of Russians have noticed a rise in the price of fruit in the past few months.


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