February 18, 2019 | Wheat is becoming more expensive, again!
18 February 2019

In January 2019, the cost of cooking one standard Imeretian khachapuri decreased comparatively both annual and monthly, ranging between 3.56 GEL (Tbilisi) and 3.70 GEL (Kutaisi), with an average cost of 3.62 GEL. The new average price is 2.5% lower than in January 2018. As for the month-to-month development, the price of khachapuri is 3.5% lower compared to the previous month (December 2018).

The main ingredient in khachapuri is Imeretian cheese, and naturally, its price is the main driver behind fluctuations, and thus has recently pushed prices down. However, in January 2019, the price of flour increased by 1.1% month-on-month (compared to December 2018), and by 7.1% year-on-year (compared to January 2018). It is important to note that we only observe the price of high-quality wheat flour within four Georgian cities.

The results from our data are in line with international wheat price trends. While, FAO also reports increased cereal prices in January 2019, at 7.3% above their January 2018 levels. While the main contributor to this increase is the price of maize and rice, the price of wheat also increased. This increase was derived from rising export quotations around the Black Sea, where the aim was to tighten availability against steady foreign demand. Similarly, export prices were up in Argentina, caused by excessive rain during the harvest.

For 2019, FAO it is expected that wheat production will increase, indicating major rebounds in the European Union and the Russian Federation. Therefore, increased wheat production will push prices down across international markets, and we should expect this price decrease to reach domestic markets within the next few months.