Russia's government plans to extend retail price cuts on sugar and sunflower oil and eliminate some import taxes in its battle to tame the country's rising food inflation, it said in a statement.
Since December, Russia has imposed several grain export taxes and other measures. Producers of sugar and sunflower oil agreed to reduce prices with retail chains until the end of March.
The government will discuss extending the price reduction agreements on sugar until June and for sunflower oil until October, the statement said.
The government will also discuss eliminating taxes on imports of up to 350,000 tonnes of white sugar between May 15 and Aug. 31, it said.
The tax is currently at $340 per tonne. Russia imported 168,600 tonnes of white sugar in 2020.
Food Price Highs
United Nations data showed food prices hit six-year highs in January after rising for eight consecutive months as economies continue to battle fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Russia's annual inflation had spiked to 5.8% as of mid-March and is only expected to slow to its central bank's 4% target in the first half of 2022, later than previously expected.
"In the current macroeconomic conditions and the situation on the global food market, the government's priority is to maintain stable prices for basic foodstuffs within the country," Russia's agriculture ministry said in a separate statement.
Extension of the fixed-price agreements for sugar and sunflower oil will help to keep these products available to the Russians, the ministry said.
It added that new support will come to producers, including RUB 3 billion of state subsidies for domestic producers of white sugar.