The FINANCIAL -- In August 2017, FRUIT prices were 7.6% higher compared to the same month of 2016, and this was the first case in 2017 when year-to-year changes were positive. In August month-to-month changes became positive too and the FRUIT sub-index rose by 2.3%.
The main contributors to m/m increase in FRUIT prices were domestically produced peach and nectarine, the price of which increased by almost quarter compared to July 2017. Nevertheless, nearly all the stone fruits (including peach and nectarine) the AGRIndex tracks, were cheaper in August 2017 than in August 2016.
The main determinants of the increase in y/y FRUIT prices were Georgian apple and berries that in last 12 months gained, respectively, more than 15% and 30% of their August 2016 values. Although a new campaign to distribute apples in Tbilisi public schools might have had its effects, decreased apple production in current year (due to spring frosts), and international trade figures fairly well explain the general rise in apple prices. The imports of this delicious fruit dropped by 2.7 million USD in the first eight months of 2017 compared to the same period of the last year, while the exports of Georgian apple more than tripled and nearly reached 1 million USD mark. The later argument applies to berries too — the trade surplus of these fruits increased by 0.26 million USD in January-August 2017 compared to January-August 2016 that left relatively less Georgian berries on the national market.