Minister of Agriculture: Suppliers’ collusion may have caused excessive buckwheat demand in Penza
Penza, 5 November 2014. PenzaNews. Excessive demand for buckwheat in Penza could have been caused by the collusion of wholesale suppliers, stated Andrei Burlakov, Minister of Agriculture of the region, during the meeting of the working staff on the food market situation held on Wednesday, November 5.
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The event was also attended by the heads of retail chains operating in Penza. They confirmed that in early November, many shops of the city registered unprecedented demand for buckwheat.
In particular, according to representatives of “Magnit,” “Pyatyorochka,” and “Dva Gusya,” they sold more than monthly norm within one week.
They emphasized that there has been neither buckwheat price raise, nor has it been planned for, and the reason for such activity is unknown.
In turn, Andrei Burlakov noted that the current situation is reminiscent of the increased buckwheat demand in 2010.
“Then FAS recognized collusion in the actions of suppliers. We have not registered price rise by the sellers – however, there is a high demand for the product, and subsequently it may trigger a sharp increase in prices. Excessive demand unsettles and disturbs everyone. This should be dealt with together with the federal authorities who are competent in this, so that they could give us a definitive answer,” he said.
The Minister also suggested that the increased interest could have been caused by the information about the poor buckwheat harvest in Altai Krai, which, according to him, is false.
“I contacted the deputy chief of the department of agriculture for Altai Krai, and I managed to get a comment from him on the harvest. Indeed, this year the weather conditions in the region are a little adverse, but the information presented in the media does not coincide with what he said. According to him, as of now 57% [of buckwheat crops] have been harvested in Altai Krai, and the process is not complete yet. Mass loss of crops is not registered. Yes, there was snow, yes, the weather is abnormally warm for Altai Krai, snow has melted. Further harvesting has been put off until it gets colder. However, they have already threshed 260 thousand tons of buckwheat, which is more than in 2013,” Andrei Burlakov said.
The Minister of Agriculture of the Penza region also noted that the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia is supervising the situation.
He expressed hope that the whole buckwheat situation will be settled in the market.