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Moscow's food is the cheapest in Russia

Moscow is renowned for being ridiculously expensive, a reputation buttressed by regular international surveys placing it among the world's priciest cities for residents.

However, contrary to popular belief, food in the capital can be a lot cheaper than in the rest of Russia, especially remote places.

Public Chamber checks prices

Food in Moscow is cheaper that food in the rest of Russia, according to reports of Public Chamber's commission that monitors food prices in eight cities.

The service looks at the 14 cheapest products: potatoes, "borshch ingredients" (cabbage, onions, carrots, beetroot), frozen beef, pork, pollock, chicken, sugar, bread, butter, cottage cheese, sunflower oil, milk and eggs.

Moscow's food is cheapest

These products were cheapest in Moscow in February, Moskovsky Komsomolets reported.

In the capital this basket would cost 1,487 ($52) roubles. Moscow is followed by Rosotv-Na-Donu and Stavropol (1,596 roubles).

Remote Khabarovsk, in the Far East, took its traditional spot as the priciest city, with the shopping basket costing 2,011 ($71) roubles.

Ineffective deliveries

The problems stem from poor delivery networks and a lack of competition in smaller towns and cities.

That can have a knock-on effect on prices across Russia.

For example, the cheapest butter in Nizhny Novgorod is 259 roubles per kilo, but in Novosibirsk it is sold for 170 roubles.

The cheapest chicken is sold in St Petersburg, costing78 roubles, but in Khabarovsk it costs twice as much ­ 157 roubles.

At the same time a Khabarovsk resident can find pollock for 60.5 roubles per kilo, and in the Urals it is cheaper by almost five roubles.

Moscow offers more competition

"There is more competition in Moscow and St Petersburg, because all the imports come through these cities," Viktor, who works in a Moscow branch of wholesale frozen fish selling company told The Moscow News. "All the large wholesale companies are based here."

"Delivery to Kemerovo, for example, also adds ten roubles to the price of fish. And considering that there are fewer offers, the fish is more expensive there," he said.

Hugo, who spent several months in Surgut before coming to live in Moscow also noticed cheaper food in the capital.

"Lots of things were more expensive in Surgut, like fruit. I think it is because it has to come a long way. And the growing season there is short, so many fruit and veg have to be imported," he said.

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