The FINANCIAL -- The average cost of cooking one standard Imeretian Khachapuri in November 2016 stood at 3.46 GEL, which is 1.9% higher month-on-month (compared to October 2016).
The upward trend in the Index at this time of the year is expected and largely related to the seasonal increase in the price of cheese. Reasons for this seasonal price swing can be summed up as follows: supply and demand. More specifically, though the demand for milk and cheese stays more or less same, the production tend to peak in the spring and remain low in winter.
However, the Khachapuri Index remains at 5.6% below its level exactly one year ago. The Index is a weighted average of the prices of various Khachapuri ingredients, though the Index is quite sensitive to changes in the price of Imeretian cheese, its most expensive ingredient. According to Khachapuri Index data, in October 2016, the price of one kg of Imeretian cheese was 7.49 GEL, which is 8.3 % lower than last year’s level (8.17 GEL). The same trend continued in November 2016, price of cheese remained below its level in November 2015 (6.5% lower).
As discussed in previous publications of the Khachapuri Index, one explanation for the annual decline of cheese price might be increasing trend of importing milk powder. In December, this annual trend might continue, but the seasonal increase (compared to November 2016) in cheese prices is expected. This increase, however, might be neutralized by lower demand during Lent, which started in the end of November.