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    Hunger: Issues with food prices and consumption
    • Ismail Moradian, the vice-president of the Fruit and Vegetable Sellers Association, told the ILNA news agency on June 22 that consumption has decreased by between 25 and 30 percent because of price rises and the implementation of the economic policies of President Ebrahim Raisi's government.

      "Many people are confused and do not know which basic products to spend their money on," Moradian said.

      Moradian's comments come days after a member of the board of the Beef Production and Distribution Union said that beef sales had dropped 20 percent in recent weeks, while the head of the Food Industry Federation said sales of overall food industry products in the country had fallen by half and the chairman of the Dairy Products Industry Association, noting an 80 percent increase in dairy prices last month, said household consumption in his sector had decreased by 20 percent in recent months.

      Extreme inflation in Iran has sparked street protests and rattled public institutions such as hospitals, prisons, and child-care centers, which are facing possible food shortages. The Statistics Center of Iran said the inflation rate in June hit 52.5 percent.

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    War: Ruling class now want to directly regulate oil and gas prices
    • Leaders of the Group of Seven rich democracies are having "very constructive" discussions on a possible cap on Russian oil imports, a German government official said on Saturday shortly before the start of the annual three-day G7 summit.

      The proposal is part of broader G7 discussions on how to further crank up the pressure on the Kremlin over its invasion of Ukraine without stoking global inflationary pressures.

      The Ukraine war, energy and food shortages and the darkening global economic outlook are expected to dominate the agenda of the summit that is taking place this year in Schloss Elmau, an alpine castle resort in southern Germany.

      The United States, Canada and Britain have already banned imports of Russian oil while European Union leaders have agreed an embargo that will take full effect by end-2022 as part of sanctions on the Kremlin over its invasion of Ukraine.

      With energy prices soaring though, the West fears such embargoes will not actually put a dent in Russia's war chest as the country earns more from exports even as volumes fall.

      A price cap could solve that dilemma, while also avoiding further restricting oil supply and fueling inflation, officials say, but for it to work, it requires buy-in from heavy importers like India and China.

      Amazing illustration to old saying:

      law is the will of the ruling class transformed into legal regulations.

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    Good quote: Zinoviev on US role
    • What is America? Have you ever been to America? ..... A new social structure has emerged, which did not exist before, this is a super-society. This is a super-society, it has a complex structure, it controls more than 70% of the world's resources, it completely controls it. It controls all the major evolutionary lines, they are the masters of the world, you understand? Everything depends on them. They determine the course of evolution. That's the horror. And this is a super society, it is very strong, it is relatively young, it has recently appeared, it is seizing power, it has seized as long as it is able to retain the achievements of the planet for the next many decades.

      ... But in general, globalization is the establishment of a world empire, headed by a Western supersociety, that is, a supersociety whose main institutions are based in the United States, where the metropolis is.

      A. Zinoviev

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    Energy: France companies asked to start saving
    • Leading French energy companies - Engie, EDF and TotalEnergies - are concerned about the rapid growth in the cost of raw materials caused by a reduction in supplies from Russia. This was reported by Le Journal du Dimanche, citing a corresponding open letter.

      The message contains an appeal to the population and businesses "immediately" to limit the consumption of electricity, gas and oil products.

      "We call for awareness and collective and individual action so that each of us - each consumer, each company - change their behavior and immediately limit the consumption of energy, electricity, gas and oil products," the letter says.

      The energy crisis is said to be a serious threat to France's social and political cohesion.

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    Microsoft disabled Windows Insider program for Russia
    • According to available data, participants in the Microsoft Insider Program from Russia can no longer download test builds of Windows, as well as update versions of the operating system already downloaded on their computers. If, however, using a VPN, the user changes the Russian IP address to a foreign one, the download of updates for test versions of Windows will proceed as usual. Official representatives of Microsoft have so far refrained from commenting on this issue.

      Few days ago, Microsoft, without any official statements, closed access for Russians to images of Windows 11 and Windows 10 on its website. At the same time, users from Russia can no longer download the Media Creation Tool from the Microsoft website. At the same time, the use of a VPN makes it possible to download Windows images and the mentioned utility from the company's website.

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    Germany: More on inflation
    • In May 2022, producer prices for commercial products were 33.6% higher than in May 2021. According to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), this was the highest increase compared to the same month last year since the study began in 1949. Commercial producer prices since December 2021 each month raise a new record compared to the same month of the previous year. In April 2022, the rate of change was +33.5%, and in March it was +30.9%. On a monthly basis, producer prices rose 1.6% in May 2022.

      The dynamics of energy prices continue to be the primary reason for the increase in commercial producer prices compared to the previous year.

      Strong rise in prices for all energy sources

      Energy prices in May 2022 were on average 87.1% higher than in the same month last year. Compared to April 2022, these prices have increased by 2.5%. The largest impact on the annual rate of change in energy consumption was natural gas in distribution, which grew by 148.1% compared to May 2021. Power plants paid 241.2% more for natural gas than a year earlier. Natural gas became more expensive by 210.7% for industrial consumers and by 168.3% for retail chains. While end customers with higher purchase volumes, whose prices are often based on stock exchange quotes, had to pay lower prices than the previous month, prices for customers with smaller purchase volumes also continued to rise compared to the previous month. Compared to April 2022, natural gas has become 2.5% more expensive for all consumer groups.

      Electricity prices in May 2022 were 90.4% higher than in May 2021 (+4.0% compared to April 2022). For redistributors, electricity cost 165.2% more than a year earlier, for consumers under special agreements - by 83.2%. Prices for commercial equipment increased by 16.8%.

      Oil products rose by 55.8% compared to May 2021 and by 2.5% compared to April 2022. Light heating oil has almost doubled in price compared to a year earlier (+96.0%), motor fuels have risen in price by 49.4%. While motor gasoline prices increased by 6.5% and diesel prices by 0.5% compared to April 2022, light heating oil prices fell slightly (-0.5%).

      Excluding energy, producer prices were 16.5% higher than in May 2021 (+1.2% compared to April 2022).

      High price increases for intermediate goods, especially for metals, fertilizers and animal feed, as well as for industrial gases and wood packaging materials.

      Intermediate goods in May 2022 were 25.1% more expensive than a year earlier. Compared to April 2022, these prices have increased by 1.5%. The rate of change of metals as a whole had the largest impact on the annual rate of change of intermediate goods, increasing by 38.1%. Here, prices for pig iron, steel and ferroalloys increased by 51.8%, non-ferrous metals and semi-finished products from them rose by 24.8%. While pig iron prices rose by 1.9% compared to April 2022 (after +7.5% and 9.8% in April and March respectively), non-ferrous metal prices decreased by 2.0%. Reinforcing steel grew by 72.1% y/y and 5.2% m/m. Raw aluminum prices were 42.0% higher than a year earlier.

      The increase in prices compared to the previous year was especially high for fertilizers and nitrogen compounds, amounting to +110.9%. Technical gases went up in price by 68.8% over the year, wood packaging - by 67.4%. Livestock feed prices rose 48.7%. Sawn softwood prices are up 41.9% compared to May 2021.

      Paper and cardboard rose by 52.3% compared to last year. Prices for newsprint especially increased here (+111.3%). Corrugated paper and paperboard, important for the packaging industry, cost 42.4% more.

      Cereal flour prices were 44.8% higher than in May 2021. Compared to April 2022, these prices increased by 5.1%.

      Growth in prices for consumer goods mainly due to higher prices for meat and meat products

      Non-durable consumer goods prices in May 2022 were 14.7% higher than in May 2021 and up 1.3% compared to April 2022. Food was 19.2% more expensive than last year. Butter prices rose especially sharply (+80.2% compared to May 2021, +7.2% compared to April 2022). Raw vegetable oils have risen in price by 68.4% compared to May 2021. Beef has risen in price by 42.9% compared to a year earlier, coffee - by 33.6%, milk and dairy products - by 24.1%. Pork prices were 24.1% higher than in May 2021 but down 2.6% compared to April.

      Prices for durable goods in May 2022 were 9.4% higher than a year earlier, mainly due to the dynamics of furniture prices (+11.9%).

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