In the last two weeks of February, ISET’s Retail Food Price Index increased by 5% (compared to February 2017). On a monthly basis (compared to January 2018), food prices in Tbilisi’s major supermarkets increased slightly, by 0.6%. We recorded the biggest bi-weekly price increases for bananas (10%), cucumbers (10%), and beef (4%). Prices dropped the most for garlic (-9%), rice (-6%), and potatoes (-5%).
PRICES OF DIFFERENT FOOD CATEGORIES IN MORE DETAIL
Looked at from an annual perspective (November 2017 vs. November 2016), on average, Tbilisi’s retail markets experienced substantial annual price increases in the five food categories that comprise the Retail FPI: grocery (4%), fruits (6%), meat (3%), dairy products (10%), and non-alcoholic beverages (2%).
The most drastic price increases were observed for dairy products. In February 2018, prices are higher for all dairy products, compared to the same month of the previous year: milk (8%), cheese (11%), butter (11%), and matsoni (5%). As discussed in our previous publication, a reduction in the supply of milk associated with increased exports of live bovine animals, along with increased exports of meat, might explain the increased dairy prices.
However, prices did not increase for all food categories: vegetables are 16% cheaper on average compared to the previous year. The sharpest price decreases were observed for garlic (-42%), coriander (-32%), eggplants (-24%), and carrots (-20%). Given the upcoming spring – the season of fresh fruit and vegetables – Georgian consumers might expect food prices to cool down.