ISET

In the first half of November, ISET’s Retail Food Price Index increased by 9.2% y/y (compared to November 2016). On a monthly basis (compared to October 2017), retail food prices slightly increased, by 1.2%. The largest bi-weekly price changes were recorded for fruits and vegetables. The price of peaches (14.8%), cucumbers (11.9), and bananas (9.5%) increased the most. The biggest price drop was for eggplant (-8%), buckwheat (-8%), and onions (-4.4%). 


IN THE SPOTLIGHT: PEACHES

Peaches are among the products for which prices increased the most in the middle of November: the average price of a peach moved up from 2.48 GEL/kg in October to 2.85 GEL/kg in November. This is not surprising, as the prices for most fruits and vegetables tend to increase at this time of the year due to seasonal shortages. 

At the end of October, food prices maintained an upward trend; ISET’s Retail FPI gained 2.6% m/m (compared to the last week of September). On an annual basis (compared to October 2016), we recorded a significant 11.3% increase for food prices. According to data from the last two weeks of October, the biggest increase in price was recorded for tomatoes (99%), for which the price almost doubled due to seasonality. The other two products with the highest increases in prices were cucumbers (14.7%) and frozen chicken (10%). Although there is overall increase in food prices, some food items became cheaper. The prices that moved down the most were cabbage (-12.1%), eggplant (-4.2%), and bananas (-2.9%).


A CLOSER LOOK AT WINE SECTOR

According to the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), Georgian Rtveli for this year has successfully finished. As of today, 130 000 tons of grapes have been processed; that is 14% higher compared to the previous year (114,264 tons).

In the first half of October, food prices in Tbilisi’s major supermarkets increased by 10.8% compared to October 2017. On a monthly basis (that is, compared to September 2017), ISET’s Retail Food Price Index increased slightly by 1.7%. On a biweekly basis, most of the prices increased, leading to a higher Retail FPI. The largest bi-weekly price changes were recorded for seasonal food products such as fresh fruit and vegetables. Prices increased the most for cucumbers (51%), eggplants (43%), and peaches (22%). Carrots (4%), sugar (3%), and pasta (1%) showed the biggest price drops.


PRICES OF FOOD CATEGORIES IN MORE DETAILS

Tbilisi’s retail markets experienced significant annual price increases in all five food categories comprising the Retail FPI: fruits and vegetables (2.0%), grocery (2.5%), non-alcoholic beverages (6.6%), meat (9.2%), and dairy products (13.1%).

By the end of September, ISET’s Retail Food Price Index increased by 10.1% y/y (compared to September 2016). On a monthly basis (compared to August 2017), retail food prices slightly decreased, by 0.5%. The largest bi-weekly price changes were recorded for vegetables. The biggest price increases were observed for eggplant (19.6%), cucumber (16.7%), and potatoes (10.3%). Prices dropped the most for tomatoes (-18%), greens (-15.7%), and cabbage (-11.4%).


IN THE SPOTLIGHT: POTATOES

During the last three years, potato prices have been exhibiting an interesting trend. In 2015, they were relatively high (1.29 GEL). In 2016, prices decreased by 24% (down to 0.98 GEL), and then went up again by 10% in September 2017.

In the middle of September, food prices increased by 12% y/y (that is, compared to September 2016).

On an annual basis, the biggest price increases occurred for apples (87%), potatoes (46%) and carrots (42%), whereas cucumbers, peaches and tomatoes, on the contrary, became cheaper by 25%, 20%, and 14%, respectively.

The majority of food products in the bundle became more expensive compared to the same period of the previous year, leading to an overall increase of 12% in the food prices offered by the largest supermarkets of Tbilisi. This finding is in line with Geostat’s data, which confirms an increasing trend in food prices and shows that the major drivers of the increase are fruits, vegetables, and dairy products.

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