Russia curbs on Brazil meat contribute to inflation pickup

MOSCOW, Sept 7 (Reuters) - Russian restrictions on meat imports from Brazil contributed to a sharp acceleration in annual inflation in August, the Russian central bank said in a report on market trends on Friday.

Russia's consumer price index (CPI) rose 3.1 percent in August year-on-year, compared to 2.5 percent in the previous month, the statistics service said this week.

This was a greater rise than the central bank's research department had expected, their report said. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected inflation to climb 3.2 percent.

Russia placed temporary restrictions on meat imports from Brazil on December 1 after finding the feed additive ractopamine in some shipments, an allegation Brazilian meat industry groups denied.

"After a decline in prices for meat throughout 2017 and in early 2018, there is a significant growth now above all due to a gradual reduction in excess supply," the central bank said in the report.

"This is happening amid rising production costs caused by the rouble currency weakening."

The restrictions on imports from Brazil, previously one of the largest meat suppliers to the Russian market, had also contributed, the central bank said.

The growth in pork prices in Russia in July-August was also caused by several outbreaks of African Swine Fever, a highly contagious fever among pigs. The virus is not dangerous to humans.

"As all these factors are temporary, one can expect a slow-down in the pace of price growth to a moderate level in future," it added. (Reporting by Elena Fabrichnaya Writing by Polina Devitt Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

2018-09-07 14:19:10

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