The FINANCIAL -- In January 2018, the average cost of cooking one standard Imeretian Khachapuri dropped to 3.71 GEL, which is 2.9% lower month-on-month (compared to December 2017), and 1.3% higher year-on-year (compared to January 2017).
In monthly terms, the Khachapuri Index is going down in all Georgian cities. Telavi is experiencing the biggest drop in the Index (of 6.5%), at 3.60 GEL, and appears to be the cheapest city. Tbilisi is (and has been for the past three months) the most expensive city in Georgia for khachapuri lovers. The price difference between the most expensive (Tbilisi) and the cheapest (Telavi) cities was 0.29 GEL.
One explanation for this decrease might be that in January, demand for milk and milk products is relatively low, compared to December, as the holiday season is over. We observed similar dynamics in previous years as well.
This effect might be intensified by the fact that, although winter milk prices are generally higher than in any other season in Georgia (because much less fresh milk is produced during the winter in Georgia), many producers use milk powder instead of fresh milk to produce cheese during this season. The GEL/USD exchange rate reached 2.55 In January 2018, which is 0.06 points lower compared to the previous month (December 2017). So, in January, milk powder got cheaper in terms of lari, possibly pushing cheese prices down.