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How to reduce prices for sugar and butter: restrictions have been worked out on buckwheat


This week is marked by the fight against high food prices. A classic of the genre: the president banged his fist on the table, and we – politicians, ministers and citizens – were overexcited about this. And the protection of the population from the unreasonable rise in prices from the consumer basket began. We managed to defend seven basic food products, but the main thing is sugar and sunflower oil. What happens to prices on New Year’s Eve – the expert explains. If such a heated discussion in Russian history happened for the first time, one would hope that such a price whistle will never happen again. But you must admit that it is not the first time that the administrative baton has been dropped on the heads of manufacturers, processors and trade. And every time the campaign against prices ended up equally bad for buyers. They, prices, set sail again, mile by mile, loop by loop. Does it mean that government regulation gives only a temporary effect, and the reasons are hidden deeper? We asked about this, Doctor of Economics, Professor Nikita Maslennikov. – Nikita Ivanovich, now all the thoughts of Russians about the New Year’s table, how will its cost grow if it was not possible to buy in advance? – According to the New Year’s table, the estimates are still preliminary, but in general, our New Year’s budget will increase by 25-35 percent. The speaker of the Federation Council Valentina Ivanovna Matvienko also thinks so. – It’s good that at least 7 of the most popular products were protected … – Good measure, no words. It is soft for the market, not prohibitive, moreover, it has been worked out in practice more than once in previous years, when such restrictions were introduced either on buckwheat or on some other products. But if we look at the state of the consumer basket, at the monthly rate, both sunflower oil and sugar give us a rise in price, I emphasize, according to the norms of the consumer basket, no more than 2%. Nobody drinks vegetable oil in glasses, an excessive passion for sugar is also not welcome. And his main purchases fell on August-September, when they were stocking up on jams. It is not entirely clear why this issue is being raised right now … The supply of these products has lagged behind demand. Poor harvest of sunflower and sugar beet, export – the market’s reaction to prices is quite predictable. This became clear at the end of August, because the consumption of these products is conditionally stable. Why arrange debriefing for the New Year? This only fuels inflationary expectations, spurs up demand – again they ran to buy for future use. Although, without any excitement, they could have solved the problem smoothly back in October or early November. – But if the situation with prices repeats from year to year, then the reason is not only that “someone” is deliberately bullying? – The meaning of the economic processes behind the rise in prices is not deeply analyzed in our country. Yes, there are trade questions. Take the cost of red fish and red caviar, without which the New Year’s table looks lonely. Rybflot has already commented on this topic, about a bad year. But he gave everything he caught. And in chains, these products cost 1.5-2 times more than the manufacturer’s selling prices. Where do these markups come from? The main point is the materiel of inflationary factors. Nobody canceled the budget issue, and in November it was very large. The government did everything right: government spending, support of the population, payment of salaries, pensions with advanced indexation, transfers to regions … This is necessary to support the economy. However, for the implementation of budgetary expenditures in November, compared to October, we threw out an additional 800 billion rubles. But nobody canceled the influence of such emissions on the dynamics of price growth! These billions, through consumer demand, give rise to inflation. For the year, it will be 4.7 percent or slightly more. For many years we have been saying that budget funds are spent unevenly throughout the year. However, we still “dump” them on the market at the end of the year. Which also significantly affect the rise in prices. Remove the budget emission and see how the price of the same sugar or sunflower oil goes down. – The State Duma proposes to create a Council on Prices, which would include deputies, politicians, and citizens, and who would monitor and influence the unreasonable rise in prices. How do you feel about this idea? – We have a lot of public councils, but it seems to me that they do not have much influence on anything. In my opinion, the main thing is to remove budget emission from the agenda, to ensure even spending of budget funds. So that we do not have a monetary effect. Read also: “The expert told what problems the freezing of food prices will turn into”


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