THE SITUATION WITH FOOD PRODUCTS PRICES IN THE FAR EAST FEDERAL DISTRICT IS STABILIZING
Prices are decreasing, returning to the previous level in the troubled regions where there was the most significant growth of prices for fruits and vegetables
Due to information about increased food products prices in the Far East Federal District, FAS initiated the work to control the situation over the food markets in the District.
Regional FAS Offices in the Far East Federal District are instructed to undertake measures designed to prevent a growth of prices for food products, in particular:
- Organize daily operative monitoring of retail prices for particular types of socially important and essential food products earlier supplied from China. The monitoring subjects should be federal and regional chains that occupy considerable market shares in these regions;
- Organize a hot line for receiving operative information about the facts of increased prices for socially important and essential food products;
- Based on the monitoring findings, analysis of information received on the hot lines and if complaints (statements) are filed about increasing prices for food products, organize control measures, particularly, together with the prosecutor’s offices, with regard to the economic entities involved to verify whether the latter observe the antimonopoly law. If elements of violating the antimonopoly law are exposed in actions of retail facilities or actions of companies delivering goods to retail chains, immediately apply antimonopoly remedies (issue warnings, open cases on violating the antimonopoly law);
- In the course of inspections, if necessary, organize coordination with regional antimonopoly bodies of the subjects of the Russian in the Far East Federal District. If elements of antimonopoly violations by food suppliers located in the subjects of the Russian Federation in the Far East Federal District are exposed, promptly inform FAS;
- Organize operative interaction with executive bodies of the subjects of the Russian Federation, particularly, to exercise monitoring, increase awareness of wholesale suppliers of food products and retailers that unreasonably increasing prices for socially important food products is unacceptable;
- Inform the public through mass media about the measures undertaken by FAS regional Offices to prevent unreasonable growth of prices for socially important food products.
At the moment, hot lines for obtaining prompt information about the facts of increased prices for socially important and essential goods are opened on the sites of Altai, Buryatia, Jewish, Transbaikal, Magadan, Primorye, Sakhalin, Khabarovsk and Yakutia OFAS.
According to operative information received from FAS regional bodies, as of 6 February 2020, stable prices for food products were observed in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) and the Chukotka Autonomous District.
Tomato and cucumber prices increased slightly in the Magadan and Sakhalin regions, the Republic of Buryatia, and the Trasnbaikal Territory.
The highest increases of prices for vegetables were registered in the Jewish Autonomous Area, the Khabarovsk Territory and the Amur region. The reasons for increased prices are being investigated.
For other food products, the price situation in all regions of the Far East Federal District in general remains stable.
The staff of FAS regional Offices in the Far East Federal District promptly inspected food prices in retail chains and stores. Also, considerable awareness-raising efforts have been undertaken among entrepreneurs to explain that using the situation in order to unreasonably increase prices is unacceptable.
According to OFAS, as of 10 February 2020, the price situation with food products can be characterized as stable. The troubled regions - the Khabarovsk Territory, the Primorye Territory, the Amur region, the Jewish Autonomous Area, where the highest growth of prices for vegetables and fruits happened, – demonstrate price reduction and returning to the previous level.
Head of FAS Department for Control over the Agro-Industrial Complex, Anna Mirochinenko, commented: “Due to robust actions of FAS regional Offices, prices for food products in the Far East Federal District have stabilized. On 17 February 2020, FAS will receive the official data about the monitoring findings and the measures undertaken by the regional Offices”.
FAS emphasizes that according to the valid law of the Russian Federation, prices for food products are not subject to government control and are set by economic entities independently based on the costs associated with their purchasing, storage, transportation and sale, and depending on the market environment (demand –supply).
As part of antimonopoly regulation, FAS controls pricing in terms whether prices for goods (services) set by economic entities are justified if an economic entity has the dominant market position and also to verify that pricing is justified when market participants enter into anticompetitive agreements. The conditions based on which the position of economic entities can be recognized as dominant, are specified in Article 5 of № 135-FZ Federal Law “On Protection of Competition” of 26.07.2006.
FAS also enforce prohibitions set in Article 13 of the Law on trade.
If elements of violating the antimonopoly law in the above cases are exposed, FAS and its regional Offices apply the relevant antimonopoly remedies.