In January 2011, the prices of vegetables in Latvia increased rapidly, and due to the activity of Russian buyers the supply of local potatoes is dwindling, experts inform the business information portal Nozare.lv.

    Head of the Agricultural Market Promotion Center, Inguna Gulbe, pointed out that in January supplier prices for cabbage increased 33% from December, potatoes – 18%, carrots – 13%, reaching 28, 20 and 18 santims per kilogram respectively. In January, supplier prices for potatoes, cabbage and beet were two times higher than a year ago.

    The largest price increase, compared to December, was registered for potatoes on Riga markets – 32%, informed Gulbe. Chairman of potato and beet producer Baldones lauki, Ivars Pundins, forecast that the price for potatoes will dramatically increase in spring.

    "Everything is being sold. We sold 15% of our potatoes to Russian buyers, however, I know farms that sold 70 to 100% of their potatoes. The offer was very good – 23 to 25 santims per kilogram, while stores offered to pay 20 santims. The buyers will have to choose between rice and buckwheat or wait until new potatoes from Israel or Marocco arrive. Local potatoes will cost at least 30 santims per kilogram in spring,"said Pundins.