PRICES FOR SOCIALLY IMPORTANT PRODUCTS ARE IN THE FOCUS OF ATTENTION
As part of the instructions of the President and the Government of the Russian Federation, the FAS Russia continuously monitors pricing for socially important food products, including fruit, vegetable and meat products, and also conducts inspections of retail chains and manufacturers
The authority analyzes retail shops in the largest federal and regional retail chains on a weekly basis. The FAS Russia has also organized work on calculating the shares of retail chains within the boundaries of municipalities and determining their dominant position – retailers whose market share exceeds 35% are constantly controlled for compliance with antimonopoly legislation. Besides, antimonopoly authorities conduct dawn raids of meat and fruit and vegetable producers, as well as retail chains.
Based on the results of the verification measures carried out, the Tatarstan Regional Office of the FAS Russia is considering a case against two poultry farms on the grounds of concluding an anti-competitive agreement (http://en.fas.gov.ru/press-center/news/detail.html?id=55190). The Ryazan Regional Office of the FAS Russia has initiated a case against two of the largest federal retail chains on the grounds of establishing monopolistically high prices for vegetables in the region. Two antimonopoly cases on the coordination of the economic activities of retail chains, including the coordination of retail prices for food products, are in the proceedings of the Nizhny Novgorod Regional Office of the FAS Russia (http://en.fas.gov.ru/press-center/news/detail.html?id=55275).
The Moscow and the Republic of Kalmykia Regional Offices of the FAS Russia have issued warnings to federal retail chains about the need to reduce prices. As a result of the implementation of warnings in Moscow region, prices for poultry and pork decreased in the urban districts of Molodezhny, Zvezdny Gorodok, Klin and Mozhaisk. The deadline for the execution of the Kalmyk Regional Office of the FAS Russia warning expires on October 14, after which the authority expects a decrease in prices for vegetables in the region.
According to monitoring data, from this August to the present, the average level of margins on socially important food products in federal retail chains has decreased by 5.8% (from 22.2% to 16.4%). Average margins on meat products in the largest chains in the observed period ranged from 3 to 38%, on vegetables – from 0 to 48%. At the same time, in some retail chains, the FAS Russia continues to identify cases of high margins on vegetables and meat products reaching 50% and above.
The FAS also monitors compliance by retail chains with the Law on Trade. According to the law, retailers, among other things, are prohibited from exceeding the five percent amount of remuneration, forcing them to conclude a contract for the provision of paid services with third parties, as well as charging suppliers other payments not provided for by the law. This kind of violations can affect the final prices of goods for consumers.
The FAS will continue conducting verification measures and monitoring the pricing for socially important food products. In case of detection of signs of violation of antimonopoly legislation, the authority will take response measures up to negotiable fines.
We remind you that in order to identify and suppress speculative price increases, citizens and business entities can report information about the facts of overstatement to the FAS Russia hotline.