In December, consumer prices in Belarus rose by 0.4%, food prices by 0.7%, services by 1.1%.

Belstat publishes such data for December.

It is significant that prices have been falling for two months so far, i.e., the reverse process of inflation - deflation - has been observed.

This happened after Lukashenka banned raising prices in October.

After that, they still allowed to raise prices, but only if the officials gave their approval.

What has become more expensive

A kilogram of boneless pork cost 14.33 rubles per kilogram in October, and 14.36 rubles in December.

Growth +0.21%, according to monthly prices from Belstat.

Beef, on the other hand, fell by 0.26%.

Last months, even before the ban on price increases, the most expensive vegetables.

The trend has persisted.

For example, tomatoes in October cost 4 rubles 7 kopecks per kilogram, and in December they began to cost 7 rubles 19 kopecks, an increase of +43%.

Cucumbers cost 3 rubles 92 kopecks in October, and in December they began to cost 8 rubles per kilogram.

Growth +51%, this is a more than doubled price increase.

Carrots cost 88 kopecks in October, and 97 kopecks in December.

Growth of 9%.

Potatoes rose in price by 4.1%.

The prices of fruits also increased, apples rose in price by 5%, grapes rose in price by 25%, citrus fruits rose in price by 8%, but the price of bananas did not change.

The price of milk has not changed since October, kefir has risen by 2 kopecks, or by 1.1%.

Since October, bread has fallen in price by 2%, flour has also fallen in price - by 1.3%.

What people say

Readers of Svoboda also noticed the increase in the price of fruits and vegetables.

"Fruits and vegetables have become more expensive, even if the prices are compared in dollars.

Especially what is brought from Spain, Greece and Turkey," the reader gives an example.

"Oranges in e-delivery cost 4 rubles 53 kopecks in October, and now 4 rubles 99 kopecks," the reader gives another example.

According to her observations, tomatoes have almost doubled in price, apples have also increased in price.

Why did vegetables and fruits become more expensive

Beroc expert Anastasiya Luzhina attributes the increase in the price of fruits and vegetables to the seasonal factor.

"This is a seasonal factor, the prices of these products may decrease later.

Of course, the seasonal product will become more expensive in winter.

Objectively, they always become more expensive in winter.

And it is also connected with the fact that new deliveries started in December, because it is not possible to stock up on such products for several months in advance," says Anastasia Luzgina.

Tomato prices in Minsk stores, comparison: April, December 2022.

Why did the prices rise?

According to Beroc expert Anastasia Luzhina, in November entrepreneurs were still selling warehouse stocks at old prices, and in December new contracts with importers were concluded.

"Retail networks have adapted to the new rules.

Price regulation does not mean that prices cannot be raised at all.

The import of products at new prices has started, as a result, a greater growth is visible in food products.

First of all, this concerns imported products," says Anastasia Luzgina.

What will happen next with prices

Anastasia Luzhina predicts that prices will continue to rise, but one should not forget the factor of administrative regulation.

"Prices will rise, but they will also use manual control.

There will be promotion, but it will be difficult.

If the officials see that something has become more expensive, they can ban something again or reduce the assortment.

The risks remain, because in parallel with understated inflation, they want to stimulate domestic demand and investments," says Anastasia Luzhina.

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