The average cost of cooking one standard portion of Imeretian khachapuri stood at 4.62 GEL in November 2020. This is 4.5% higher MoM (compared to October 2020), and 12% higher YoY (in comparison to November of 2019). The index maintaining an upward trend at this time of the year is typical and relates to the increasing price of cheese (due to the reduced supply of fresh milk).
The price of all khachapuri ingredients, except eggs, increased this November compared to the same value last year (November 2019): cheese went up by 17.1%, flour – by 16.0%, milk – by 4.8%, yeast – by 15.3%, and the price of butter increased by 13.8%. However, the price of eggs decreased slightly, by -1.5%.
The major reason the price of imported items rose was the depreciation of the lari against the US dollar, in excess of 12% in November 2020 compared to November 2019. The GEL continued to depreciate against the USD: with the average GEL/USD exchange rate in November 2020 being 3.30 (2.97 in November 2019). While a further reason also relates to the additional safety measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Regarding the price of eggs, Georgia imports only in small numbers and the continuous exchange rate fluctuations do not directly affect its price. According to Geostat, the self-sufficiency ratio for eggs was 96% in 2019. The decline in egg prices might be explained by increased production; based on official figures, the number of poultry increased by 21% in the first three quarters in 2020 compared to the same value in 2019. If this pattern continues, we might expect even lower egg prices.