Nov 3, 2021
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Bad news: “Borodinsky” and “Yubileinoye” cookies will have to eat less

Bad news:

Photo: Vladimir Smirnov / TASS

There are regions in our vast country where bakers cannot find flour for production in their district – the mills were closed or the production profile changed. And this is in the Kuban, the main granary of Russia. But what was even more surprising in a conversation with an entrepreneur-baker already from a neighboring, no less fertile region – the Crimean bakers are concerned about the fruitless search for “good premium” flour.

And practically everywhere bakers are preparing to raise prices. Because it’s hard: if prices for raw materials and costs are constantly growing, then the final cost of the product will not remain the same.

But Russia, if you believe the legends and myths of our White House, can cover almost the entire planet with its grain, we just have to hand out bread for free on the streets.

But this, of course, is very far away. Prices for food rye in the center and the Volga region last week showed the highest growth in the Russian grain market, Interfax reported, citing the results of monitoring by ProZerno.

So, in the center and the Volga region, prices increased by 500-540 rubles, to 13,500 and 14,125 rubles per tonne, respectively. In other regions, the price dynamics was lower: in the Black Earth Region and Siberia, the growth amounted to 200-250 rubles, up to 13,380 and 12,417 rubles per ton, in the Urals – by 125 rubles, up to 13,438 rubles per ton.

Multidirectional trends were observed in the milling wheat market. So, wheat of the 3rd class in the south “sank” by 85 rubles, in the Volga region – by 25 rubles per ton. In the center, the growth amounted to 135 rubles, up to 17,383 rubles per ton, in the Chernozem region – 230 rubles, up to 17,350 rubles, in Siberia – 335 rubles, up to 17,000 rubles per ton.

Prices for feed barley increased the most in the Urals and Siberia – by 185-200 rubles, to 16,300 and 14,500 rubles per ton, respectively. In the Volga region, they added 150 rubles to 15,600 rubles. In other regions, the growth was insignificant. In the south, barley has fallen in price by 50 rubles.

– Russia produces mainly feed grain, this applies to both wheat and rye. And the prices are really high, – believes Alexey Korenev, analyst at FINAM Group:

– For wheat – $ 325 per ton – these are average quotations. Analysts expect quotations to rise to $ 350 per ton – this is medium wheat, of the third category, which is supplied from Russia, pure feed grain. Wheat of the first and second categories gets into the bread, but they also need to add improvers that we buy abroad. But bread is used in many places, and primarily as a fodder base for other types of agricultural production.

Yes, the prices are very high, but, in fact, the rise in prices for wheat this year, let’s say, is in the general outline of the rise in prices. This is the result, firstly, of an increase in demand from a number of state-owned companies in a number of countries. They buy large quantities of wheat from us at very high prices. For example, an Egyptian state-owned company bought 360 tonnes of wheat at a price of $ 327-328.5 per tonne (excluding freight). Plus, there is not a very high harvest in Russia itself and in Canada.

In principle, all the countries of the Middle East and North Africa this year were marked by an increased demand for grain. They have hot weather there, they themselves practically do not grow grain, for the most part they buy it in Russia, Ukraine and Romania, in much smaller volumes – in Germany and France.

In general, a not very high harvest with increased demand, as well as with rising costs led to the fact that prices for cereals rose noticeably. The export restrictions introduced here also played a role. Remember the increased customs duties in order to prevent a decrease in supplies to the domestic market. All this also affected grain prices.

– Yes, we will have to raise prices for our products by 7-8 percent, says the director of a private enterprise for the production of bread and flour confectionery (Republic of Crimea) Sergey Oleinik:

– You see, the price is still growing – from flour to gasoline. And the salaries of the workers need to be raised somehow. I haven’t raised prices since last year. I got out, got out, for which month I practically came out on profit only to zero. That’s it, it won’t work further without raising your prices, you just need to survive.

“SP”: – The current rise in prices for rye products will especially affect?

– You know, I tried it at first, but I could not find good quality rye flour. I heard that high-quality rye flour is made in Voronezh and Belgorod. But to carry it from there – I have the wrong volumes, it will be expensive. Or prices will have to be raised very high. More, with a margin to take – is also not good – it will stale. And so I just gave up on the production of rye products. I work with wheat flour, which is produced here in Crimea.

“SP”: – Don’t you have to complain about its quality?

– How to say it. If earlier the gluten content of 22 units was permissible for the production of bread, now the mills have made a concession and allowed 18 units. And four units is a lot. And before there was flour of the “first” and “premium” grades, but now it has become – “general purpose”. Here’s a grade. Neither the highest, nor the first, but somehow. For example, we used to work with the Kerch flour mill – it was very difficult to make bad bread with it. And now it’s easy: someone overlooked something there, and it’s not the same, the quality of flour has dropped. We also make buns, and for them I simply cannot find a good premium flour. Not even 25 rubles, let it be 30 rubles. If only it was good. No. Well, only two mill companies are brought to us from the other side – Rostov and Stavropol. Here you take this flour, on which it is written “the highest grade”, it goes for bread, but not that …

“SP”: – Why did the quality of flour fall?

– Firstly, all good raw materials are taken by large production – pasta, gingerbread. Large enterprises. They just buy up the second and third class in advance. And since gluten up to 18 units is easily exported, it is mainly not high-quality wheat, not elite varieties that are sown in our country, but the middle peasants do it. After all, the sowing material of elite wheat is many times more expensive. And why bother with good grain, if the average grain is taken abroad with a bang?

“I don’t know what will happen next in terms of prices for our products,” he says frankly. Director of a private enterprise for the production of bakery products (Krasnodar Territory) Lyudmila Sergienko:

– We have a line for baking sugar cookies “Jubilee”, “Baked milk”. All raw materials go up and up prices, even if you shoot. We are not catching up with these prices. Margarine was 60 rubles, then it went up to 170, now it’s 110 rubles, but you can’t buy it at all. You can’t buy flour in our area either, we go all over the region, looking for it. Well, how to live like this, in general? The mills in the area were closed, no one produces flour here. Nobody wants to bother with this, it is better for them to sell grain straight from the field, take it to Turkey or Africa, and that’s all. And we do our best to get out.

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