According to the data for the first quarter of 2018, the number of livestock has increased in Georgia. The biggest increase was observed for the number of sheep and goats, which increased by 35.9%. Such a sharp rise might be explained by the increased demand from East Asian countries. As to the other livestock categories, the number of bovine animals increased by 9.3%, while the number of pigs and poultry increased by 7.7% and 4.1%, respectively.
The higher number of livestock has translated into increased animal production for most animal products, except milk, which decreased by 1.4% in the first quarter of 2018, compared to the same period in 2017. As to the remaining categories of animal production, the amount of meat and eggs produced increased by 9.5% and 10.2%, respectively, for the same period.
In April 2018, prices for sugar, jam, honey, chocolate, and confectionary decreased by 1.4%, compared to March 2018. On an annual basis, prices in this category were lower by 3.7%. According to Geostat data, the biggest price drop was mostly for sugar (-21.5%). This sharp price decrease was balanced out by a hike in prices for chocolate bars (5.2%), honey (4.3%), chewing gum (2.4%), ice cream (0.9%), and caramel (0.2%). Given that Georgia is a net importer of these commodities, prices for sugar, jam, honey, chocolate, and confectionery are driven by international prices. According to the International Sugar Organization, sugar prices decreased by 26.8%, compared to April 2017.
As to international trade, in April 2018, Georgia’s agricultural exports (including food) amounted to 52 mln USD, which is around 30% of the total Georgian export value. While comparing this indicator to April 2017, it is 4% higher. As to imports, in April 2018, Georgia’s agro import stood at 101 mln USD, which constitutes 16% of total Georgian imports. Year over year (compared to April 2017), agricultural imports increased by 22%. As to export destinations, Russia remained the biggest export market for Georgia in April. In April 2017, Georgia traded mostly with neighbors, while in April 2018, China and Kazakhstan appeared at the top of the list of trading partners. The top import countries for both April 2017 and 2018 were Russia, Ukraine, and Turkey. Interestingly, in April 2018, Azerbaijan was replaced by Brazil.