Manturov said that Russia does not plan to introduce state regulation of food prices

The Russian authorities do not plan to conclude agreements to stabilize prices for other types of products and introduce state regulation of prices, reported Head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov to reporters.

‘We do not even consider such options, because this is a forced measure, we do not plan to break market principles,’ the minister said.

Manturov added that the introduction of state regulation of prices does not correspond to the principles of economics. ‘If we introduce regulation of food prices, it will simply break all the principles of the economy. This will affect the production component, suppliers of raw materials, suppliers of equipment, etc.,’ the minister said.

According to Manturov, [the conclusion of agreements on reducing prices for sugar and sunflower oil] was a forced measure dictated by time.

The minister also reminded of the amendments to the legislation that will allow regulating the prices of socially important goods in case of their sharp growth (by more than 10% within a month).

Speaking about the need to introduce export duties on sunflower oil, Manturov noted that this is the prerogative of the Ministry of Agriculture, but this issue should be approached carefully, taking into account the plans for the export national project.

‘We need to be careful here so that we do not lose our competitiveness in the foreign market. We will be quickly replaced there if prices are not competitive,’ he said.

Russian retail does not need support in connection with agreements to stabilize prices for sugar and butter, said Manturov.

‘We just heard that retail has the ability to maneuver groups of products, and help is definitely not needed here. They feel normal and provide profitability,’ the minister said.

Chief executive director of X5 Retail Group, Igor Shekhterman, confirmed to reporters that the chains are doing a good job of containing price growth. In addition, he cited the example of the "Pyaterochka Index", which includes 33 basic products, prices for which in January - September of this year increased by 2%, that is, below inflation.

On December 16, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Agriculture, the largest Russian retailers and food producers signed agreements on stabilizing prices for sugar and sunflower oil, which will be valid until the end of the first quarter of 2021. The maximum retail prices for sugar will be 46 rubles per kg, for butter - 110 rubles per liter. For hard-to-reach regions, increasing coefficients will be set: the maximum prices for the Urals, the Far North and Kaliningrad will be determined by the regional authorities through such coefficients.

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