In April 2018, MEAT prices increased for the second consecutive month, and the m/m gain in prices (+1.8%) reached their highest value since April 2017. Nonetheless, the y/y gain in MEAT prices continued to shrink in the last month and dropped to a 14-month low of +4.7% in April.

On the product level, all types of meat except pork (-1.1%) gained in price in April 2017, but the speed and direction of the price changes were not uniform. Fresh beef prices have been increasing steadily for the last 12 months, and gained +5.6% in total, while chicken meat prices have been falling marginally in 2018, and the total difference in prices between April 2017 and last month was just +1.0%. In contrast, the gain in mutton prices has been speeding up in recent months, and the year-to-year change in April 2018, compared to the corresponding month of 2018, rose to +6.8%.

In April 2018, compared to the previous month, only MEAT (+1.8%) prices went up, while DAIRY (-8.0%), VEGETABLE (-6.8%), and FRUIT (-2.6%) prices lost significant parts of their March 2018 values. As a result, AGRIndex experienced the biggest decline in m/m terms (-1.4%) since last July.

The y/y AGRIndex also continued its latest trend and reached a 16 month low of +2.1% in April 2018. Graph #1 shows m/m changes in AGRIndex and its sub-indices: FRUIT, MEAT, DAIRY, and VEGETABLE.

Highest increase: In April 2018, compared to March 2018, pomegranate prices increased the most (+34%), but more interestingly, cabbage and broccoli prices continued to climb at almost the same pace as they did in the last month — broccoli prices increased by 31%, while cabbage prices increased by more than 18%.

In March 2018, DAIRY prices continued declining trend — the drop was as low as -7.1%, compared to the last month. Due to this change, the gain in the year-to-year AGRIndex also shrunk and reached +3.7% — the lowest figure since February 2017.

Although the month-to-month decline in DAIRY was significant, the negative direction of the change was expected given that there exists clear seasonal pattern tied to the active lactation period. Active lactation starts in the mid of spring and lasts till the mid of autumn, while during the rest period of the year lactation is relatively low, that limits the supply of domestically produced milk on Georgian market and pushes prices up.

Compared to the previous month, in March 2018, the AGRIndex increased marginally by 0.3%. The biggest price-gainers were FRUIT (+7.8%) and VEGETABLES (+5.2%), but the decline in DAIRY (-7.1%) prices largely offset the price gain. As far as the MEAT (+0.8%) prices are concerned, they increased just slightly.

Although the m/m change in the AGRIndex again became positive in the last month, the y/y change was down to only +3.1% in February 2018, the lowest figure since January 2017.

Highest increase: In March 2018, cabbage prices gained almost one third of their February prices, while broccoli prices were up more than 20%, which might be the result of a reduced supply of these vegetables on the national market.

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