The FINANCIAL -- In April 2018, the average cost of cooking one standard Imeretian khachapuri declined to 3.29 GEL, which is 7.4% lower month-on-month (that is, compared to March 2018), and 1.0% lower year-on-year (compared to April 2017).
The Khachapuri Index has dropped for all cities in Georgia in April 2018, compared to last month (March 2018). This decreasing trend of Index for all cities has been observed since January 2018. The price decline was greatest in Kutaisi. In April 2018, the average cost of cooking Khachapuri is 2.9 GEL in Kutaisi, which is 17.8% lower compared to March 2018. Moreover, the average Khachapuri Index for all cities is 14% higher than the Index for Kutaisi.
The negative monthly change in the Khachapuri Index follows the traditional seasonal trend in fresh milk production. Moreover, traditionally we observe that these seasonal fluctuations in the price of cheese are consistently sharper in Kutaisi than elsewhere in Georgia. For this city, the same pattern was observed in other years as well (the possible reasons are explained in a previous ISET publication). Because of early spring this year, the increased supply of fresh milk pushed down Kutaisi prices even earlier than last years (this April, Kutaisi experienced a much sharper price decrease than in April of the previous year). The price decreases in Kutaisi are expected to be transmitted to other cities in coming months, as Imereti is the largest supplier of Imeretian cheese in the country.