The FINANCIAL -- In December 2017, Georgian MEAT sub-index increased by only 0.7% compared to October 2017. Nevertheless, in absolute terms, this is the highest month-to-month change since the last April. The main drivers of the change were boosted beef prices of similar magnitude, but pork and chicken meat prices also played their roles.
More striking were changes in year-to-year scale as in November 2017 domestically produced MEAT was almost 13% more expensive than in November 2016, and this is the record high figure for the AGRIndex. On meat type level, fresh beef prices have boosted by +14.3% in the last 12 months’ period, while fresh mutton prices have increased by +10.3% in the same period, pork prices have gained approximately +9.6% of their November 2016 value in the last month, and chicken meat prices increased a bit.
As far as the determinant of year-to-year prices changes is concerned, the fast-growing foreign demand on Georgian meat and “not-so-fast-growing” reproduction of the same goods in Georgian farms might be the key. According to the GeoStat, in the first 10 months of 2017 country boosted its live sheep and sheep meat exports approximately 2.9 times compared to the same period of 2016, yet the average number of sheep was virtually unchanged. Additionally, the exports of live poultry increased approximately more than threefold, but at the end of Q3 of 2017 there were 9.5 million heads of poultry versus 10.2 million heads at the end of Q3 of 2016. The situation is different on pig and pork market. The heads of pigs at the end of September 2017 was exceeding the corresponding figure of September 2016 by 19%, while pork exports have declined in 2017 and its imports were on rise, increasing the chances to get pork on New Year’s table more easily. Happy New Year, everyone!