The FINANCIAL -- In May 2017, locally produced vegetable prices continued their spring trend and decreased month-to-month by -8.1%, but salad-lovers are still worse-off this year than they were in the same period last year.

Starting from a modest +2.6% increase in year-to-year prices in January 2017, the same figure for May 2017 exceeded 30% (see chart).

Changes in vegetable prices are mostly explained by the supply side of the market. In 2016, according GeoStat’s data, only 142,000 tons (the lowest figure in this decade, versus 152,000 tons in 2015 and 154,000 tons in 2014) of vegetables were produced in the country, while exports of vegetables from Georgia started to increase. In the first five months of this year, Georgia exported vegetables worth of 11.9 mln USD, which is 84% more than the value in the same period last year. Declining imports of vegetables (21.3 mln USD in January-May 2016, versus 31.6 mln. USD in January-May 2017) also played a role, in addition to the prolonged winter that delayed the supply of seasonal vegetables on the national market and drove prices up further.