In the Republic of Georgia, potato prices have hit historic lows. Stocks at are record levels and imports are increasing. This is an unusual situation in the Georgian potato market, this season. The first lots of early potatoes from greenhouses have already appeared on the market, prices for 2020’s harvest potatoes are significantly lower than those of last year and the stocks are still unusually high, with imports that are still higher than last year.
Nevertheless, it does not seem that Georgian potato producers are planning to reduce their potato acreage. The reasons? First of all, the 2020/21 season will definitely be less profitable for potato farmers in Georgia. Moreover, not everyone will be able to sell the entire potato stocks of the 2020 harvest, because potato imports remain high.
Monitoring of wholesale prices by East-Fruit analysts shows that in the first quarter of 2021, prices decreased by an average of 49% in USD and by 37% in lari compared to the same period in 2020. Such a significant difference between March 2020 and March 2021 prices is mainly due to the fact that in 2020, during this period, the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic began and consumers started panic-buying food. However, the current prices are also lower compared to 2019.
Farmers associate the low price of potatoes in the first quarter of 2021 with a high harvest in 2020 and a decrease in demand due to the lack of tourists and the shutdown of the horeca sector. The rich harvest was due to favorable climatic conditions, as well as an increase in the area cultivated with potatoes in 2020. This is indirectly confirmed by a significant increase in imports of seed potatoes.