EastFruit’s latest survey held on February 24, 2023, reveals sharp price increases for several key products – most notably, tomatoes and peppers. They are heavily imported at this time of the year, thus price changes are strongly linked with external trade issues.
Wholesale prices for red tomatoes have increased by 26% over a week, while red and green bell pepper prices have increased by 11%. Similarly, cherry tomato prices have also jumped by 11%. Prices in both the US dollar and Georgian Lari have changed the same, as the exchange rate remained stable week-over-week.
Red tomatoes are now sold at 5.00 GEL/kg ($1.90) on the Georgian wholesale markets, up from 4.50 GEL/kg ($1.50) a week ago. In the same timeframe, cherry tomato prices and both red and green bell pepper prices have increased from 5.00 GEL/kg to 5.5 GEL/kg ($2.09).
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The price changes are linked with Turkey, which is the only external supplier of these vegetables for Georgia. The Georgian market depends on imports from Turkey as the local production is not enough to meet the demand. A major factor for the mentioned price jumps was cold weather in western Georgia causing delays in logistics. The remaining uncertainty within the importers of how the earthquake in Turkey could exactly affect Georgian imports is another key factor that gives incentives to increase the prices.
Usually, the dependence on Turkish tomatoes and bell peppers is robust up to July. Then Georgian harvest begins and the imports tend to go down.
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