January 2024 | Khachapuri Index continues its upward trend
29 January 2024

In January 2024, the average monthly cost of preparing one standard portion of Imeretian khachapuri increased, ranging between 6.40 GEL (Batumi) and 7.11 GEL (Tbilisi), with an overall average cost of 6.62 GEL. This recent average indicates a 2% increase compared to the preceding month of December 2023. While examining year-to-year trends, the current price of khachapuri is 4.6% lower than in January 2023.

A closer examination of individual ingredients reveals that, in January, most components witnessed year-on-year inflation: yeast (+13.6%), milk (+11.6%), butter (+10.4%), and eggs (+3.7%). Conversely, cheese (-9.5%) and flour (-5.1%) experienced a decrease in prices compared to the same period last year.

The monthly price increase is typical in this period, associated with seasonal limited local milk production and respective increase in the quantity of imported milk powder, milk cream, and other dairy products. This trend was evident in the monthly change in khachapuri ingredient prices, with all ingredients inflated except for flour (-0.8%) and butter (-0.2%).

To explain the annual decline in cheese and flour prices, it is important to highlight that the drop in cheese prices could be associated with the exceptional surge in cheese prices in the preceding period.  Additionally, a potential factor contributing to the yearly decrease in cheese prices might be the observed increase in milk production in Georgia in 2023 compared to 2022, as indicated by official statistics (with the production during the initial three quarters of 2023 exhibiting a 3% increase compared to the equivalent timeframe in 2022).

Regarding the reduction in flour prices, it is crucial to emphasize that the decrease in global wheat prices since the peak in March 2022 is impacting the year-on-year reduction in flour prices. While lower international prices typically transition slowly to local markets, the sustained continuation of this declining trend is expected to lead to a continued decrease in flour prices in Georgia as well.