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Russia’s Central Bank Declares Shortage of Banned Food Items

Russian food producers failed to meet market requirements in most categories, according to a report published Friday by the Central Bank, the Kommersant newspaper reported.

In the report, the Central Bank sums up the results of an "import substitution" agenda that was introduced because of the restrictions on food imports from the United States, the European Union, Canada, Norway and Australia.

Imposed last August in retaliation for Western sanctions, the import restrictions have boosted Russian food industry — the report revealed growth in meat and dairy production, with a significant 25 percent increase of beef and potato output. Fish and sausage production suffered a small decline, falling by 5 and 4 percent respectively.

However, the Central Bank said that the development of domestic food industry so far has failed to fill the gap left by the embargo, Kommersant reported.

"Although the percentage of Russian products has increased, the total market volume that includes both domestic and imported products, has decreased," the report says.

The shortages have led to soaring food prices with prices of key products rising sharply — cereals and beans prices showed the biggest increase (49.2 percent), a government analytical center revealed in a "Food Embargo" bulletin published this August.

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