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Butter Only for Great Holidays?
Markets Review 


2017 August 12 ( Saturday )  11:11:31
Print version
Русский Azərbaycan
Turan IA

Apparently, Azerbaijani pensioners and consumers from the needy category will have to revise the morning breakfast menu, completely abandoning butter. The fact is that in supermarkets this product, used for breakfast, as well as for preparing a number of dishes, confectionery products and ice cream, has appreciably risen in price. The price of Anchor butter in trade networks has grown from 14.8 manats to 15.2 manats per kilogram.

This trend is observed not only in our country. In June, wholesale prices for butter in Europe doubled, and retail prices jumped by 20% compared to last year, CNN reported. Producers called the current situation a crisis and warned about a sharp increase in the cost of all foods that use butter. At the same time it is noted that earlier the prices for this product have never been raised so high.

Butter prices in the UK soared more than 20% over the past year. In July, according to analysts from Kantar World Panel, sales of packed butter rose by 0.7%. A similar situation is in France. Wholesale prices per ton of butter are doubled every two years, the Federation of French Bakers calculated.

There are several reasons for this, but mainly there are two: the growth of consumption with a parallel decline in production in Europe and depletion of stocks. Europeans, following the new recommendations of scientists on the benefits of fats of animal origin, switched to the consumption of natural food products, including butter.

According to the State Customs Committee, 14,365 tons of butter was imported to Azerbaijan last year. Its cost was 48.384 million in dollar terms. During the first 6 months of the current year, 7,767 tons was imported to the country. The cost of these imports amounted to 32.688 million dollars. According to forecasts, if the prices remain stable by the end of the year, $ 65 million will be spent on the import of butter. This is almost $ 17 million, or approximately 35% more than in the previous year. Along with butter, an increase in prices for other dairy products is expected, which will lead to an increase in imports in terms of currency.

According to the volume of butter consumption, Azerbaijan is not inferior to Georgia, Poland or Latvia. This dairy product is the most important culinary component used for baking cakes and Azeri national sweets and dishes, such as gogal, baklava, pilaf, dolma, gutab, etc.

The main suppliers of butter to the Azerbaijani market are Belarus, New Zealand, Lithuania and Russia, where there has been a decline in the production of dairy products due to sanctions or problems have occurred in livestock production.

According to official data, domestic producers cannot provide the market with butter. So, according to statistics, the self-sufficiency ratio for milk and dairy products in Azerbaijan is 80%, vegetable oils and margarine - 67%, while production by 80% depends on imports, as raw materials and packaging are supplied from abroad. The country provides itself with butter by 60%. Moreover, a significant part of the raw materials used is also imported.

As the expert on agrarian issues Vahid Maharramov notes, the rise in price of butter - both imported and local production - will affect the prices of other food products. In Azerbaijan, a "good tradition" has developed: if even water rises in price, then immediately the cost of all other products rises. Official data, which appear in the reports of the President of Azerbaijan, are far from real. The conducted monitoring showed that local industry produces only 45% of meat and milk, and 52% of macaroni. This indicates that serious problems remain in this area. The food industry uses raw materials, including meat, butter and grain of imported origin.

"For example, the Imishli sugar factory is able to provide the market with products, but the enterprise is more than 80% dependent on foreign supplies. Raw sugar is imported from abroad. We import almost 100% of feed and its components for animal husbandry. In the end, this leads to a rise in the cost of livestock products. In addition, the increase in customs duties also affects the prices of imported agricultural products," the expert notes.

According to Maharramov, domestic agriculture is the most steadily growing sector of the economy. However, significant import substitution does not yet confirm the success of the measures taken. To develop the agricultural industry, it is necessary to attract loans, invest funds, create cowsheds, pastures and vegetable stores, and also build roads from the farm to the nearest town.

Naturally, the rise in price of butter upsets our consumers, who have recently been forced to switch to a more austerity regime.