Russian Economy Ministry Concerned About Strong Food Exports
The Russian economy ministry is studying possible measures to address the issue of strong food exports amid globally higher prices for food and commodities, economy minister Maxim Reshetnikov said on Thursday.
Russia, which competes for the rank of the world's largest wheat exporter with the European Union, imposed some grain export curbs this year in an attempt to rein in domestic food inflation.
The economy ministry will now study the need to change the existing curbs given that global inflation has accelerated, the minister said.
"What really concerns us is that global food and commodity prices, in general, have resumed their growth in April," Reshetnikov told reporters.
Russia kept on exporting food in April despite "significantly increased" export duties, Reshetnikov said.
The economy ministry is sticking to its year-end forecast for Russia's inflation at 4.3%, Reshetnikov said, which is below the central bank's forecast of 4.7%-5.2%.
Rising inflation, boosted by rouble weakness, has prompted the central bank to reverse its monetary easing cycle and raise rates twice so far this year, while indicating more hikes could follow despite downside risks that monetary tightening poses.
In April, world food prices increased for the eleventh consecutive month, hitting their highest level since May 2014, with sugar leading a rise in all the main indices, data from United Nations food agency showed.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation's food price index, which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar, averaged 120.9 points last month versus a revised 118.9 in March.