ISET

The average cost of cooking one standard Imeretian khachapuri in August 2017 was 3.08 GEL, 3.9% higher in a month-on-month comparison (m/m, that is, compared to the previous month) and 9.2% in a year-on-year comparison (y/y, that is, compared to the same month of last year).

The Khachapuri Index is mainly driven by the price of cheese, which is the main ingredient in khachapuri. In spite of the seasonal increase in milk supply, cheese prices are on the rise in almost all big cities of Georgia. Interestingly, the highest monthly increase (13.9%) in the price of Imeretian cheese was recorded in Batumi, the capital of the Adjara Region. Batumi is currently the most expensive place for cheese lovers. Telavi is the second expensive city after Batumi, where cheese prices increased by 13.2% on a monthly basis.

The cost of cooking one standard Imeretian khachapuri in June 2017 averaged 3.34 Gel, which is about 1.5% higher compared to June 2016 (year-on-year), and 1.5% lower compared to the previous month (May 2017).

According to the U.N. Food Agency, food prices increased by 7% compared to last year’s price level. FAO also reports increased cereal prices in June 2017, which is 4.2% above its May level. The main contributor for this increase is wheat. The price of wheat in the Black Sea market was 0.8% higher than in the previous month (May 2017), and 0.5 % higher year-on-year. The biggest increase is observed in U.S. wheat prices (13% compared to the previous month). This price increase is related to supply risk due to adverse weather conditions.

The cost of cooking one standard Imeretian khachapuri in June 2017 ranged between 2.64 GEL and 3.52 GEL, with the average price being 3.08. The average price in June 2017 is 1.8% lower compared to the previous month (May 2016), and 1.5% higher year-on-year (compared to June 2016).

According to the latest news, under new technical regulations on milk and milk products, starting on July 1, 2017, only cheese that is made of fresh milk can be called “cheese.” This regulation is expected to affect the price of cheese, which is the main driver of Khachapuri index.

In May 2017, the average cost of cooking one standard Imeretian khachapuri declined to 3.14 GEL – a 5.4% decrease month-on-month (compared to April 2017). In annual terms (compared to May 2016), however, the Index gained 8.5%.

Deflation of the index was caused by the sharp seasonal decline in price of Imeretian cheese, which went down last month by 10.1%. The Khachapuri Index reached its lowest value (2.86 GEL) in Kutaisi. The magnitude of the drop in Kutaisi was 28% from February (top) to May (bottom) 2017. It is clear from the graph that the Index fluctuates much more in Kutaisi than in other cities in Georgia.

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