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Survivalist
rnews

This article probably addresses the issue.

“Following the news of a bad buckwheat harvest, panic buying of the traditional foodstuff sent prices soaring in a sign that some analysts say is likely linked to economic anxieties, not harvest yields.

The run on buckwheat “indicates people’s expectations of an upcoming economic crisis, to which consumers are always keenly attuned,” said Natalia Kolupaeva, a retail analyst at Raiffeisenbank.

Prices for buckwheat started to grow at the end of October on reports of a bad harvest in the Altai region in Siberia, which produces about 40 percent of the buckwheat in Russia.

News of the bad harvest spread like wildfire, causing consumers to panic even in regions hundreds of kilometers away from Siberia. Several large retail chains reported that customers were buying out stocks of buckwheat as soon as they appeared on the shelf.

Since then, the average wholesale price of buckwheat has spiraled up to about 45 rubles (96 cents) per kilogram, with prices growing by up to 80 percent in some regions, according to news agency RIA Novosti.

State statistics service Rosstat reported Wednesday that prices for buckwheat grew by 27.5 percent on average since the beginning of November.  

But analysts said there is no logical basis for double-digit price hikes.

“Russia is expected to produce over 700,000 tons of buckwheat this year, more than enough to meet the annual demand, which is about 650,000 tons.

“The growth of price [for buckwheat] is noneconomic, so when things cool down prices should drop by about 30 percent,” Vladimir Petrichenko, the head of ProZerno analytical center, was quoted by news agency TASS as saying on Wednesday.”

“This is just hysteria cased by the poor harvest in the Altai region,” he added.

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/business/article/russia-s-traditional-economic-barometer-swings-toward-crisis/511479.html