As for me and my house we will serve the Lord....

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Gasoline costs more now! or the floating grivna and how it affects life in Ukraine

Cheap gas?  the bottom price is propane
With the fall of the recent government the policy of keeping the grivna exchange at about eight to a US dollar was discontinued and it was allowed to float. It went to about 10, which is where most economists thought it belonged, and it did not affect prices too much although we could buy more with our dollars when we exchanged money.
 However, in recent weeks, some days the exchange fluctuated wildly, up to as high as 15:1 or more. In the last week it has stabilized between 10-11. Garry heard that some Russian banks (there are many that operate in Ukraine) were suspected of adversely influencing it, and have been barred from the exchange rate setting.

Prices in the grocery store have risen, however, especially on imported goods. The salted butter we buy to spread on bread...yes, we North Americans are so used to eating salted butter that the normal unsalted butter just tasted bad on toast or whatever and a few months after moving here, friends told us about the Presidents brand in the green packages that read salted French butter, and we buy it, even though it is much more expensive, and Garry has complained, every time he noticed that it had gone up to 17 grivna.... for 200 grams... now it is over 26 ... really about the same price, though, for us, but not for the people was are living on only 1000 (a good old age pension) or 1500 grivna a month. The price of the loaf of bread in the village has not changed much, which is good.

The price of gas was pretty stable for the last couple years around 11 grivna a liter and diesel (which the tractors and our new car run on) was around 9. Now they are both around 15 grivna , I have seen some for 16. This means we fill up the car for 600 instead of 400 grivna, and it is the same thing when filling two tractors (except they have much bigger fuel tanks) that are both running all day spreading fertilizer, harrowing, cultivating and/or planting.

Garry went to breed a cow yesterday morning, a big white step van pulled into the driveway just as we were going to drive out, so we delayed our trip to Dnepro. He said the family there were friends of Max Rudei, and live in a nearby village. They showed him the bull calf from the cow Garry bred last year and the heifer calf from the one Max bred. They grow about 30 acres of vegetables each year, but cannot plant any this spring because the loan for planting that they were supposed to get last month has become unavailable because of the fluctuating grivna.

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