Russia's cheapest apples are expected to roughly double in price by the beginning of next year as Moscow's bans on food imports from Western countries that have sanctioned it over Ukraine drive up inflation, the Izvestia newspaper reported Thursday.
Prices will likely leap from 30-40 rubles ($0.75-1) to 60 rubles per kilo, Igor Mukhanin, a representative of the Russian Orchard Association, told the paper.
Russia's August import bans closed down flows of fruits and vegetables from Poland, which had supplied 40 percent of Russia's apples, and Moldova, which had supplied 15 percent.
While overall inflation has already leaped to 8 percent, apples had have so far been insulated because imports from Moldova have been re-exported to Russia through Belarus, Tatiana Getman, an analyst at agricultural consultancy APK-Inform, told the newspaper. Also, Russian suppliers typically only begin importing from Poland in November-December, she said.
According to Mukhanin, Russia has relied heavily on Poland's apples because they are both cheap and hardy in Russia's cold weather. Russian apple farmers currently have neither the refrigeration technology nor the resources to make up for the potential deficit, he said.