HomeNewsOnion price crush in Georgia: what are the reasons and perspectives?
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Onion price crush in Georgia: what are the reasons and perspectives?

As EastFruit’s reader knows well, disruptions in the global supply of onions in 2022 lead to record-high prices in many countries. Georgia was no exception. With low local supply and strong demand, prices in Georgia have been even higher since the beginning of June 2023. This week prices have plummeted below 2022 levels. The new season may not be as good as the last one.

First and foremost, it has to be said that the major harvest in Georgia begins approximately in August-September. Generally, all local onions before that period are low in volume and are considered an early harvest. The Georgian market strongly depends on imports also. This dependence is apparent throughout the year, as the country simply does not produce enough. Thus, both local supply and global market situation have a significant impact Georgian on prices.

This week, the average price for onions on Georgian wholesale markets has dropped to GEL1.00/kg ($0.38/kg) – Same week last year the price was GEL1.40/kg ($0.50/kg). A week earlier, on July 21, 2023, the average price for onions amounted to GEL1.50/kg ($0.58/kg). Thus, over the week onion prices have been reduced by a third!

Two major causes were identified in this regard. One is a bountiful early harvest in Kareli from Shida Kartli, one of the two top-producing regions. Another cause is thought to be large-scale and cheap imports from Azerbaijan. The exact magnitude of imports will be checked next week when the monthly trade data is published. Both these factors represent an increase in supply, which of course has a negative impact on prices.

What’s in the future?

Local stakeholders have mixed feeling about the major upcoming harvests. Onion plantings are supposed to have increased significantly in the Shida Kartli region. Given the high prices in the previous season, this is no surprise. Harvest is expected to begin in September.

Plantings in the Kvemo Kartli region, which is another big producer in Georgia, should have increased also. However, due to unfavorable weather conditions, some problems are forecasted for this region. To be more precise, humid weather quickly changed into a hot one, which is said to have stimulated fungal diseases in plants.

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