The Khachapuri Index continued its upward trend in November 2019, with the average cost of cooking one standard Imeretian Khachapuri reaching 4.1 GEL. This is 6.1% higher month-on-month (compared to October 2019), and 12.6% higher year-on-year (compared to November 2018).

The increasing price trend was not surprising as, in general, an increase at this time of the year is driven by a seasonal decline in the supply of fresh milk and excess demand before the fasting period. This also leads to corresponding increases in cheese and other milk product prices. However, the yearly price increase is driven largely by the deprecation of the Georgian lari against the US dollar. Prices went up YoY for all locally produced goods (eggs and cheese), for imported goods (yeast and butter), and for those that use imported intermediary inputs in production (flour and milk powder).

The Khachapuri Index reached its historical maximum in October 2019.

The Index continued its upward trend which started in May 2019 and took a big leap in October 2019. The average cost of cooking one standard Imeretian khachapuri reached 3.90 GEL, which is 6.6% higher month-on-month (compared to September 2019) and 8.6% higher year-on-year (compared to October 2018). All ingredients contributed to y/y Khachapuri Index inflation. The price of cheese was up by 12.5%, wheat by 6.6%, butter, eggs, and milk by 3.4%, and yeast by 0.1%. Moreover, in general, the increasing trend at this time of year is driven by seasonal decline in the supply of fresh milk which drives the Khachapuri Index price up.

In September 2019, the average cost of cooking one standard Imeretian khachapuri reached 3.64 GEL, which is 3.0% higher month-on-month (compared to August 2019), and 2.3% higher year-on-year (compared to September 2018). The price of khachapuri increased in all four major cities of Georgia: Tbilisi, Batumi, Kutaisi, and Telavi.

Two factors together pushed the Khachapuri Index upwards in September. On the one hand, the Index is up due to a seasonal decline in the supply of raw milk and therefore cheese — the main (and most expensive) ingredient in khachapuri. On the other hand, due to the depreciation of the Georgian currency against the USD over the recent months, the price of imported milk powder (used as a substitute for fresh milk) increased, which pushed the price of cheese up.

The average cost of cooking one standard portion of Imeretian Khachapuri stood at 3.24 GEL in May 2019. This is 6.4% lower MoM (compared to April 2019), and 2.4% higher YoY (compared to May 2018).

The prices of all khachapuri ingredients, except yeast, are down in monthly terms, compared to April 2019. If we take a more detailed look at the prices of the ingredients (see graph), cheese (-11.5%) was the main contributor in May to YoY Khachapuri Index deflation. The prices of other ingredients also went down: butter (-0.8%), milk (-0.7%), flour (-0.6%), and eggs (-0.3%). The monthly (negative) change to the Index also follows the traditional seasonal trend for fresh milk production, which gradually starts to decline in February and March and continues throughout the summer months.

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