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Potato prices in Georgia keep rising to new highs

EastFruit analyts provide update on the Georgian potatoes as the prices have been growing in an unusual manner for about a month already. During the current week, the average wholesale price for the Georgian potatoes went up to 1.5 GEL/kg ($0.53), which is 50% higher in GEL and 65% higher in US dollars. Prices are record-high for the current period of the year.

September is an interesting period in Georgia, because potato supply from one key producing region runs low and another major supplying region starts entering the market. Right now, Kvemo Kartli, which produces about 20-25% of the country’s potatoes is reported to have very low, almost no stocks of potatoes. Samtskhe-Javakheti, the largest potato producing region in Georgia with a share of 60% in the total output, is just starting to provide supplies, which are expected to be limited due to the unfavorable weather conditions.

Opinions on where the prices will go from this point are mixed. Some producers expect even more growth. They mention other major factors in addition to the Samtskhe-Javakheti’s poor harvest:

  • Imports would be profitable now as prices in Georgia are high. They would also push the prices down, yet there are speculations about Turkey restricting exports to support own market.
  • Increased demand as the war in Ukraine resulted in the influx of foreigners, mostly Russian residents, in Georgia. This process started as the war began, but recently gained much wider attention as very high amounts of Russian visitors have been entering Georgia in order to avoid conscription since Russia announced mobilization.
  • There are reports about strong demand on Georgian potatoes coming from Azerbaijan.

Other growers expect potato prices to reduce when the harvesting peaks in Samtskhe-Javakheti, which will happen in October. The idea is simple, there will be much more potatoes on the market than there currently are, hence the prices should be lower.

Overall, everyone agrees that this season, prices will be higher than in the last one.

EastFruit

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