In June of 2015, the average cost of cooking one standard Imeretian Khachapuri fell to 2.85GEL, which is 1% lower month-on-month (compared to May 2015), and 0.8% higher year-on-year (compared to June 2014).
The main contributors to y/y Khachapuri Index deflation were cheese (down by 7%) and flour (down by 1.6%). All other ingredients increase in price: eggs (21.6%), yeast (15.3%), milk (10.7%) and butter (7.3%).
June is the time of the year when the Khachapuri Index reaches the lowest point in its annual cycle. The supply of fresh milk a key input in the production of Imeretian cheese reaches its seasonal peak a few months earlier, in March and April. The prices of cheese, while declining in a continuous fashion from January onward, bottom out with a lag of two-three months, by June or July.
The average cost of cooking one standard Imeretian Khachapuri in May 2015 stood at 2.88 GEL, which is 2.7% lower month-on-month (i.e. compared to April 2015). The Khachapuri Index is actually up by 1% year-on-year (compared to May 2014), suggesting a slight uptick in annual inflation, at least as far khachapuri ingredients are concerned.
If we look at a more comprehensive basket of goods and services, such as used for the official Consumer Price Index (CPI), prices are up in both monthly and annual terms, by 0.6 and 3.5%, respectively.
In May 2015, the average cost of cooking one standard portion of Imeretian khachapuri reached 2.88 GEL - a 2.7% decrease month-on-month (compared to April 2015). In annual terms (compared to May 2014), however, the Index added 1%.
Driven by the sharp seasonal decline in price of Imeretian cheese - the main khachapuri ingredient, the Index reached its lowest value (2.61 GEL) in Kutaisi, the capital of Imereti. This is hardly incidental as we observe the same pattern every year since launching our survey. Apparently, Imereti sees the largest seasonal spike in the supply of fresh milk, and much of this milk goes into the production of Imeretian cheese and other traditional dairy products, such as matsoni.