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Russia's Sugar Consumption Seen at Highest in Six Years

May 14 (Bloomberg) -- Russia’s sugar usage this year may be the highest since 2008 as the country’s expanding population consumes more domestically-produced food and home-brewed alcohol, market researcher Ikar said.

Consumption may climb 1.2 percent to 5.68 million metric tons from 5.61 million tons last year, Ikar said today in e-mailed statements.

“It’s an important change,” Evgeny Ivanov, an analyst at Ikar in Moscow, said by phone. “We’ve been declining for a few years.”

Population growth was boosted by the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in March, according to the statements. Local food has become more popular after the ruble declined since the start of the year, making imports less affordable, Ikar said. A ban on sweets from Ukrainian producer Roshen last year provided space for Russian rivals to expand sales, it said. An annual increase in excise duties on alcohol has pushed up prices for drinks at stores, encouraging sugar-intensive home brewing, it said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anatoly Medetsky in Moscow at amedetsky@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net John Deane, Dan Weeks

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