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Weak Ruble Sees Fruit Prices Soar in Russia

Some 90 percent of fruit consumed in Russia is imported.

The price of fruit in Russia has increased on average by 30-50 percent over the past 12 months due to a weak ruble and bans on imports from Europe, the RBC newspaper reported Wednesday, citing data from the Rosstat state statistics service.

Oranges showed the sharpest rise, with prices increasing by 57.4 percent in September compared to the same month last year, the newspaper said. The cost of bananas, apples and pears, meanwhile, rose by around one-third — with banana prices rising by 16.2 percent in September alone.

Imports have become much more expensive due to a 45 percent fall in the value of the ruble to the U.S. dollar since summer 2014, which has accompanied a deepening economic slump.

Some 90 percent of fruit consumed in Russia is imported, RBC quoted Irina Kozy, director of the industry news website FruitNews, as saying.

A Russian embargo on food from the European Union, the United States, and some of their allies imposed last year has also raised prices. Europe had been a major supplier of fruit to Russia.

Russian officials have pushed for investment in heated greenhouses and food distribution infrastructure, but a recession and high interest rates have dampened enthusiasm.

While fruit prices have risen faster, overall food prices were 17.4 percent higher in September than in the same month last year, according to Rosstat.

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