Russian regulator checking sugar supply chain to prevent delivery delays
MOSCOW. March 17 (Interfax) - Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) is conducting inspections of sugar market participants in order to prevent delays in sugar deliveries to retailers.
The inspections were ordered by First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov, and cover producers, retail chains and intermediaries, the regulator said in a statement.
"Experience shows that the absence of sugar on store shelves in a number of regions is related to feverish demand that is stoked by unethical organizations," the FAS said.
The regulator said "groundless price increases and the creation of an artificial shortage" are unacceptable, and if such violations are found it will "immediately" take action, up to and including the imposition of turnover fines. If necessary, case materials will be forwarded to prosecutors.
Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov earlier ordered a probe into the legality of sugar pricing in 26 regions where sugar producers and suppliers operate.
Sugar prices in Russia jumped 12.8% in the week from March 5 to 11, which was the steepest price increase on the food market, Federal Statistics Service data show. Sugar prices rose 3.3% a week earlier, and were up 20.4% from the start of the year.