Prices for herbs from Georgia increased last week. In conversation with EastFruit, local farmers spoke about several reasons in local and foreign markets affecting the prices. The previous season was not that successful for Georgian herb growers, according to EastFruit price monitoring. If the average wholesale price of dill in the same period last year was 4 GEL/kg ($1.34), this year it is 7 GEL/kg ($2.65). Higher prices this season are related to the less successful last season.
The first reason for the price change is the increased demand in export markets. During the past months, the Russian and Ukrainian markets, where Georgian herbs are exported, were supplied by Iran. But the season there is now coming to an end, and the demand surged for alternative suppliers like Georgia. According to farmers, the end of winter and early spring is when Georgia can get higher prices for herbs, as its main competitors Iran and Uzbekistan are not supplying the market.
Usually, Iranian herbs on Russian and Ukrainian markets are replaced by those from Uzbekistan in spring, but this season farmers think that unusually low temperatures recorded in Uzbekistan will postpone the start of the season and Georgian herbs will be in demand in spring.
Except for the demand, prices are also affected by local production tendencies. According to local farmers, many of the producers decided to cut herb production compared to the 2022 season, considering the low prices then. Farmers think that the dill production in the Imereti region might have decreased at least by 30%.
In addition, prices are affected by heavy snow in western regions of Georgia, which causes delays in harvesting. Farmers expect even higher prices for herbs during the next weeks.
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