ISET

The average cost of cooking one standard Imeretian khachapuri declined to 3.24GEL in May 2019. The price dropped by 6.4% month-on-month (compared to April 2019); however year-on-year prices have increased by 2.4% (compared to May 2018).

The Khachapuri Index lost value in all large cities in Georgia compared to the prior month (April 2019). The highest month-on-month decrease of 16.6% was observed in Kutaisi, where the price stood at 2.68 GEL, followed by Telavi (3.30 GEL) where the monthly decrease was 7.7%. Tbilisi and Batumi happened to be the most expensive places to buy khachapuri (3.50 GEL) in May, although the Tbilisi price of khachapuri still decreased, by 1.6% and the Batumi price decreased by 0.7%. The price difference between the most expensive cities (Tbilisi, Batumi) and the cheapest one (Kutaisi) was 0.82 GEL.

The average cost of cooking one standard Imeretian khachapuri in April 2019 varied across Georgian cities, from 3.21 GEL (the price in Kutaisi) to 3.57 GEL (in Telavi). The overall average price was 3.47 GEL, which is 1.3% lower compared to the previous month (March 2019), and 5.5% higher compared to the same month of last year (April 2018). The change in yearly terms was driven by increases in three of the core ingredients: cheese prices went up by 9.5%, followed by flour (7.6%), and butter (1.7%).

When comparing the average khachapuri prices across cities, one can discern that Telavi and Tbilisi charge the highest prices. The average cost of a khachapuri in Tbilisi and Telavi is 3.56 GEL and 3.57, respectively, which is higher than the average Georgian price. Moreover, looking at the minimum prices observed in every city reveals that Tbilisi offers the greatest savings for those looking for the cheapest ingredients. Frugal people, if they invest the time to find the cheapest khachapuri components, can save a solid 26.3% and pay just 2.81 GEL for one portion of khachapuri in Tbilisi. Nevertheless, one can cook the cheapest khachapuri in Kutaisi, where the minimum price is just 2.72 GEL.

The average cost of cooking one standard Imeretian khachapuri in April 2019 was 3.47 GEL, and the Index lost 1.3% compared to the previous month (March 2019). Such a decrease was in line with an expected seasonal declining trend, which is largely driven by a springtime adjustment to the price of milk and milk products.

Nevertheless, in annual terms (compared to April 2018), the Index actually increased by 5.5%. The reason behind this might well be the Easter effect. This year, the religious holiday was celebrated at the end of the April in Georgia. There is typically greater demand for cheese and milk products during the week prior to Easter. Thus, this increased demand during the prior week directly affects the price of cheese, the main contributor to inflation in the Khachapuri Index. Consequently, in April 2019, the price of cheese increased by 9.5%, compared to the same month of last year, while the price of flour and milk also increased by 7.6% and 1.7%, respectively.

In March 2019, the national average cost of cooking one standard Imeretian khachapuri fell to 3.51 GEL, which is 0.8% lower month-over-month (since February 2019), however it is also 1.1% lower year-over-year (in comparison to March 2018). The main contributors to the MoM deflation within the Khachapuri Index were cheese down by 1.9%, milk by 0.8%, and butter by 1.3%.

For those earning foreign currency, Khachapuri Index prices appear cheaper due to GEL depreciation (MoM and YoY), relative to the USD and EUR over the last month. In March 2019, the GEL/USD exchange rate reached 2.68, 0.24 points higher than the previous year (March 2018). Therefore, the Khachapuri Index lost value in terms of USD, losing 1.9% MoM and 10.0% YoY. The situation appears similar for the monthly price fluctuations expressed in Euro, where the cost of khachapuri, is down by 1.6% MoM and 1.9% YoY.

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