Russia has around 2 mln tonnes of sugar, enough until new harvest - deputy PM
MOSCOW. March 31 (Interfax) - There are around 2 million tonnes of sugar stocked in Russia, which is enough to last until the new harvest of sugar beets, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Viktoria Abramchenko said in an interview with Nailya Asker-zade on the Vesti program on the Rossiya 1 television channel.
"We produce around 6 million tonnes of sugar, consume around 5.8 million tonnes a year. In the first two weeks of March, we ran into behemoth and incredibly feverish demand for this product. Why did that happen? Well, probably, people really decided to buy up sugar to have, in case it runs out. Well, there is enough sugar - in warehouses, in mills and refineries - there's enough until the new harvest [of sugar beets]. There are around 2 million tonnes of sugar in the country. And it will last until the new harvest. That is, until September. We've additionally made the decision not to export sugar from the country," Abramchenko said.
"There's also enough buckwheat," Abramchenko said. "We produce around 1 million tonnes of buckwheat, consume less. And there are enough stocks at present, around 400,000 tonnes of buckwheat stocks," she said.
The price of sugar has grown in connection with increasing costs and the fact that sugar is an exchange commodity, Abramchenko said. "Costs are growing for factory producers. Logistics costs are growing. Packaging costs are growing; for certain types of packaging, costs have risen twofold or threefold. Correspondingly, this is reflected in the cost of the product," she said.
Moreover, an imbalance in retail and wholesale has had an impact. "And, of course, this is panic buying. We can currently say that panic buying is already going down, we've virtually approached normal consumption of sugar a day in the last week," Abramchenko said.
An area 180,000 hectares greater than in the same period of last year has now been sown, Abramchenko said. "And everything necessary was purchased beforehand, before the sowing campaign was held," she said.