Russia is not going to import grain, watchdog starts price investigations.

By bne IntelliNews August 23, 2010
Representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture argued that Russia is not going to import grain this year, following last week's speculations in the press that the country would have to import grain to satisfy domestic demand after almost quarter of the crops were destroyed by heat and wildfires this year. Ministry stressed that this year's harvest coupled with reserves will be sufficient, while suggesting that rumours of necessity of imports this year were spread in order to heat the demand up and manipulate the prices. At the same time Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) initiated criminal cases against six large bread bakers based in Moscow over the 10%-20% price rise of bread reported in the capital last week. Regulator also started the cases against ten flour producers that are blamed for the price rise by the bread makers. FAS believes there was a tacit collision among the companies for a simultaneous price hike and argues that there are no objective reasons for such a steep price increase in Moscow, since grain reserves in the city are sufficient for another few months.

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