Thursday, February 23, 2012

Estonia Inflation 1991-93 Part II

Inland rate was raised again already on 15th of January 1992. Regular letter raised from 20 kopecks to 60 and registered from 70 kopecks to 420 kopecks (4 roubles 20 kopecks, 6x raise). A lot of stamps were required on envelope to get together correct rates.

As a sidenote, at the worst period Estonia had 300% hyperinflation!

Another new rate came in 16th of March 1992. Inland regular letter 1 roubles (100 kopecks), registered to 10 roubles (1000 kopecks). But rates for foreign destionations were raised considerably more. Regular letter more than 20 times, from 90 kopecks to 2000 kopecks! In addition, registering fee was raised. New zones were introduced, A and B zone, with a double difference in rates.

New stamps were introduced on the same day rates were raised. These stamps were with letter nominations - PPE, PPR, PPI, PPA.
1 rouble, 10R, 20R, 40R. These were mainly meant for foreign shippements. But even here unless letter was regular 20gr weight, additional stamps were required.

In 20th of June 1992 there was a currency reform. I still remember the suprise and confusion - in the end, since only a certain amount of soviet currency was allowed to be exchanged per person, our family was starting at the pile of roubles left over on a table in awe and shock.
Soviet currency became invalid and a new currency was kroon. Rate was 1/10 in favor of kroon. Which meant all nominations of previous rouble-value stamps fell 10 times. New nominations came in usage - 0.5, 1, 1.5, 3 senti (cents) etc.
Considering rates of regular letter, 10s and registered letter 1KR, these stamps became insignificant with their franking ability.
Another set of letter stamps were introducted on the same day with a currency reform.

Two days later, on 22nd of June, a set of three semi-postal stamps of Barcelona Olympics were issued.

These stamps had no currency indicator. In addition to charity value, lack of this created confusion in people. Green, 3.00+1.50 value was printed in smaller quantity, became deficit and was speculated with.

In the end of 1992 summer more letter-stamps were issued. Three PPX (franking 10s) and three PPZ (franking 30s).
In 15th of November 1992 inland rates were raised again, especially concerning regular letter rate which tripled, from 10s to 30s.
But already on 1st of January 1993, inland regular letter rate was raised even more.
All of these stamps shown and mentioned became invalid in 1st of July 1993.

Estonia 1991-93: Inflation, rates and franking

On 1st of January, 1991 new postal rates were implemented in Estonian Soviet Republic. Postal rates went higher considerably, cost of inland regular letter rose from previous 5 kopecks to 15 kopecks (3x raise) and inland registered letter from 10 kopecks to 65 (6,5x raise). With this new price list Estonian SSR separated from a large Soviet postal service and a new, independent postal area was created, which was administrated by government office Eesti Post.

But the use of Soviet stamps and stationery was continued because own stamps and other postal items (for example stationery) were lacking. Larger rates soon created a deficite of stamps. Envelopes, Soviet produced stationery were in satisfactory quantities
at first but their franking was only 5 kopecks. Many older stationery were used with 4 kopecks nominal and also new Soviet stationery with 7 kopecks rates. Cut outs (squares) of additional stationery were used to get together proper rates.
Also handmade envelopes were used.

Next raise of rates came in 1st of July, 1991. Inland regular and registered letter rates were raised each by another 5 kopecks.
Estonia became independent in 20th of August 1991 and from this period onwards, cooperation with USSR, meaning no additional stamps of stationery of USSR were received.
In 1st of October 1991 first set of Estonian stamps were issued, with two additional stamps to this set issued in 1st of November.

In total, eleven stamps with different nominations were issued in 1991. But they were not available enough in Post Offices, although large printing numbers were large (26 440 000 total). Larger nominations were deficite.

Before new year, in 15th of December 1991 rates to foreign destinations were raised. And another change in addition - from the 1st January of 1992, all Soviet stamps and stationery became INVALID. All of this created problems and confusion.

To be continued ...