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Russian food prices jump amid heatwave: official

by Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) Aug 18, 2010
Food prices in Russia, especially of grain-based products like bread, jumped over the last week as the effects of a record heatwave and drought fed into the economy, statistics said Wednesday.

State statistics organisation Rosstat said inflation for the week August 10-August 16 was 0.2 percent and 0.4 percent since the start of the month, considerably highter than the rate before the heatwave.

The heatwave and ensuing drought have ruined one-quarter of Russia's crops, raising fears of a squeeze on basic food supplies and prices rising as demand outstrips supply.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has already announced a controversial ban on grain exports until the end of the year in order to keep the Russian market well-supplied.

From August 10-16, prices of the staple Russian food buckwheat rose an astonishing 7.3 percent while flour jumped 2.8 percent. Milk rose 1.2 percent and butter was 1.1 percent more expensive.

Bread, a crucial component of the Russian diet which is consumed with almost every meal, rose 1.0 percent while sugar rose 0.6 percent. Meat prices were less affected.

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Ukraine to limit grain exports due to drought: official
Kiev (AFP) Aug 17, 2010
Ukraine is impose a cap on wheat and barley exports until the end of the year due a severe drought, officials said on Tuesday, after a full ban by Russia triggered concern on global grain supplies. Ukraine will export a maximum of 3.5 million tonnes of wheat and barely until the end of the calendar year, the agriculture ministry said, barely half of what it exported last year in the same sea ... read more

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