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Russian egg producers are under fire for price fixing: Pakistani dealers get a free hand as price hits Rs370/dozen

Four Russian egg producers are under fire for alleged price fixing, as revealed by authorities on Friday. This development came on the heels of President Vladimir Putin’s public apology for the surging costs of this essential commodity.

The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) disclosed charges against two Crimea-based companies, annexed by Russia from Ukraine in 2014, along with two firms in the Kirov region, approximately 1,000 kilometers east of Moscow.

In Pakistan, nonetheless, this issue has been left to the market forces who are inflating the prices of eggs every week amid the ongoing winter season. For example, the eggs’ retail price in Pakistan has been raised to a record high level of 370 per dozen though the government has reduced petrol and diesel prices by 65 rupees a liter in the last two and a half months. Unfortunately, except for motorists Pakistani consumers did not get any benefit from a substantial decline in domestic oil prices.

Meanwhile, the egg producers in Russia stand accused of breaching Russia’s market competition laws, with wholesale prices allegedly soaring by 94% for the Crimean companies and by 60% for the other two. The Moscow Times reported this development today.

Nationwide, chicken egg prices have escalated by 45% since the year commenced, attributed to various factors such as increased labor and transportation costs. Additionally, the elevated prices of chicken feed and antibiotics, once imported from Europe before the conflict, have added to this surge.

Should these companies be found guilty of price fixing, they could face substantial fines, as stated by FAS.

In his year-end press conference a day prior, Putin attributed the spike in egg prices to heightened demand and insufficient imports.

Expressing regret over the issue, he acknowledged it as a setback in government efforts and pledged to address the matter.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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