The Russia government could set a minimum price on wine

The Russia government could set a minimum price on wine

The Russian government is considering setting a minimum price on wine to benefit producers hit by poor harvests domestically and in Europe, according to local reports. 

The Russian Union of Wine-Growers and Wine-Makers has asked the country's Federal Service for Alcohol Market Regulation to set a minimum retail price of RUB110 (US$3.50) per 70cl bottle, Izvestia has reported this week. Leonid Popovich, the wine trade body's president, said the factory minimum selling price for a standard 70cl bottle of wine should be between RUB75 and RUB80. 

"These calculations take into account a considerable increase in the prices of wines and wine ingredients due to the bad harvests in Russia and Europe," he was cited saying. 

Minimum prices should be reviewed every year, Popovich said, depending on the harvest and the world market situation, because "many wines in Russia are produced from grapes imported from Italy, Spain, France, Argentina, Chile and other countries". 

The alcohol regulator said it had received expert calculations and was currently studying them, according to the report. 

"A resolution on minimum wine prices is in the working but it is difficult to tell when it is ready," the regulator said.

Russia set a minimum price on vodka in early 2010 in a bid to cut harmful drinking by stamping out the bottom end of the market. Earlier this year, the government also introduced a duty escalator on all alcoholic drinks, which runs until 2014.