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Russia’s currency fall set to cause wine price spike

Russia's deteriorating economy is likely to mean significantly higher wine prices for consumers, according to its deputy prime minister.

Abrau Durso’s Pavel Titov says higher costs for imported equipment will push up prices.

A rapid devaluation of Russia’s ruble currency, believed to be partly caused by western sanctions, could cause prices of imported wine to rise by as at least 20%, deputy prime minister Alexandr Khloponin said this week.

The ruble’s fall has been so steep that ABC News Radio’s Moscow bureau reported this week that some restaurants were raising wine prices while diners were still eating.

Prices for domestically-produced wines were also expected to rise due to higher costs.

Pavel Titov, deputy director general of Abrau-Durso, one of Russia’s leading sparkling wine houses, said prices had increased for labels, corks and other equipment, because the majority of it is imported.

To deal with the situation, Khloponin said the government planned to ‘pay more attention to the current situation with prices in the domestic wine market’.

He said this would include tighter controls on local retail chains, some of which he said ‘collect bonuses and other illegal fees from wine producers’. New measures are scheduled to be introduced by March 2015.

Last week, a Russian government spokesperson said the country would consider banning French wine imports in retaliation to economic sanctions by western powers.

Written by Eugene Gerden

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