ISET

In the middle of December, food prices maintained an upward trend, as ISET’s Retail Food Price Index increased by 2.2%, compared to the mid-November 2017. It turns out that the holidays will cost more in 2017, compared to December 2016, as we recorded a significant 10.9% y/y increase in food prices. According to data from the first two weeks of December, prices increased the most for eggplant (105%), cucumbers (43%), and onions (20%). However, not all food items became more expensive. The largest price drops were observed for carrots (14%), eggs (5%), and potatoes (3%).


MORE ON BEEF PRICE HIKE

From an annual perspective, beef prices were particularly notable. Beginning in September 2017, beef has been trading above last year’s prices. In December, the average price of 1 kg of beef is 13.10 GEL; that is 17% higher compared to the previous year (11.17 GEL/KG).

In the last two weeks of November, ISET’s Retail Food Price Index showed a significant, 10.8% y/y increase (compared to November 2016). On a monthly basis (compared to October 2017), food prices in Tbilisi’s major supermarkets increased slightly by 0.9%. We recorded the biggest bi-weekly price increases for eggplant (41.2%), cucumbers (20.5%), and onions (16.3%). Prices dropped the most for tangerines (-8%), garlic (-3.2%), and carrots (2%).


RETAIL FPI THROUGH THE YEARS

In the last three years, food prices in Tbilisi’s retail markets have been stable. Monthly inflation was minimal in July 2016 (-4%), and hit its maximum in January 2017 (6%). In the remaining months, food prices have been fluctuating at around 3%.

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%).

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