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In recent days, images and videos of empty supermarket shelves have been circulating in several Russian cities, especially of basic food products such as salt, sugar, flour and buckwheat (very worn in Russia): many Russian citizens are making large and sudden stocks of this type of products, given that their price it’s going up a lot as a result of the harsh sanctions imposed by the West on Russia in reaction to the invasion of Ukraine.
Battle for Sugar
According to official data, since the end of last week, sugar has risen in price by 12.8% in #Russia. People, fearing an even greater rise in prices, began to buy it en masse. pic.twitter.com/3TOjwPsDTw
– NEXTA (@nexta_tv) March 17, 2022
To describe the hasty and sudden purchase of food by the Russian population, international newspapers spoke of “rush to sugar” and of “shopping in a panic»: It is a phenomenon widely reported in various parts of Russia and which in any case also concerns other products, such as electronic devices or medicines.
The reason is that with the imposition of very severe economic sanctions on Russia by many Western governments and the collapse of the value of the ruble, the price of many products has risen suddenly and very significantly: according to data from the Rosstat, the Russian National Statistical Institute, the price of basic food products such as sugar and flour has already risen by about 12 percent.
It means that a package of flour that cost the equivalent of 80 dolar cents now costs almost 90. And given the current situation and its disastrous consequences on the Russian economy, the Russians fear that these prices will continue to rise, and therefore they are stocking up.
– Read also: Sanctions will hurt Russia
In addition to the rise in prices, the Russian population also fears that food products will soon become scarce due to logistical difficulties in imports, again as a result of sanctions. Various Western countries have closed their airspace to Russian companies, and Russia has in turn closed your own to the planes of 36 countries. In addition, various Western shipping companies have announced that they will stop working in Russia. This may cause problems at least in part for imports. After the invasion of Ukraine, for this, Russia removed many restrictions on imports from a number of neighboring countries.
It is unclear whether there have actually already been procurement problems: second the Moscow Times is like that, but according to others analysesamong which a of the Financial Times, the empty shelves in supermarkets are mainly due to the stocks made by the Russians in recent days.
Dmitri Peskov, spokesman for the Russian government, described the purchases by the Russians “extremely emotionalAnd said there is no reason to fear disruptions in supply chains. He said Viktor Evtukhov, Russian Deputy Minister of Industry, also mentioned: among other things he also mentioned a prohibition to the export of some products decided by the Russian government a few days ago, which according to him should guarantee that basic necessities such as sugar and flour will not be lacking.
According to various expertsHowever, even if Russia manages not to have too many problems with what it produces within its borders, it will soon have them with imported products, including for example various drinks. Coca Cola and Pepsi, for example, have already announced which will suspend their activities in Russia.
– Read also: The Russians fleeing Russia