Natalia Shagaida, Head of Agrarian Department of the Gaidar Institute, explained to Agroinvest the main reasons for the rising cost of foodstuffs.

Rosstat recorded a decline in the rate of weekly inflation: between 19 and 25 March prices rose by 1.16%. In the previous week this indicator was 1.93%. Consumer prices rose by 6.6% between 1 and 25 March and by 15.66% since the year started (the highest since September 2015). The growth drivers for the period were onions (+plus 18.28%) (up 38.57% since late February), white cabbage (+15.93%) (28.64%), carrots (+11.48%) (23.44%) and beetroot (+ 9.45%) (17.8%).

At the same time, cucumbers and tomatoes fell by 7.22% and 0.72% respectively during the reporting period. The rate of rise in prices for apples, bananas, cereals and durum wheat pasta slowed slightly. Sugar rose by 6.47% on March 19-25, while a week earlier it had risen by 13.84%. It rose by 39.43% since the end of February and by 45.95% since the end of December 2021.

Natalia Shagaida says that a rise in prices of spring vegetables prior to the new harvest is a common phenomenon. Still, she says, it is not a food inflation that should be watched: the main goal of the government is to set up conditions for growth of incomes. "It is is not the growth in prices that is critical, but the increase in the share of food expenses in the households’ incomes or expenditures. In order to alleviate the situation, incomes should grow equally. In the near future, it is better not to consider the food inflation indicators at all, because it will persist both in the world and in Russia," the expert added.