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To accrue sufficient assets for industrialization, the State had paid
a relatively low price for wheat since the beginning of the twenties.
In the fall of 1924, after a quite meager harvest, the State did not
succeed in buying the grain at a fixed rate. The kulaks and private
merchants bought the grain on the open market, speculating on a price
hike in the spring and summer.
In May 1925, the State had to double its buying prices of December 1924.
That year, the USSR had a good harvest. Industrial development in
the cities increased the demand for grain. Buying prices paid by
the State remained high from October to December 1925. But since there
was a lack of light machinery products, the better-off peasants
refused to sell their wheat. The State was forced to capitulate,
abandoning its plans for grain exports, reducing industrial
equipment imports and reducing industrial credit.
, pp. 29--30.
These were the first signs of a grave crisis and of a confrontation between
In 1926, the grain harvest reached 76.8 million tonnes, compared to 72.5
the previous year. The State bought grain at a lower price than in 1925.
, pp. 31, 419.
In 1927, the grain harvest fell to the 1925 level. In the cities, the
situation was hardly positive. Unemployment was high and increased with
the arrival of ruined peasants. The differences between worker and
technician salaries increased. Private merchants, who still controlled
half the meat sold in the city, blatantly enriched themselves. The
Soviet Union was once again threatened with war, after London's decision
to break diplomatic ties with Moscow.
Fri Aug 25 09:03:42 PDT 1995