In July-August 2021 alone, Georgia imported 26% more potatoes than the average for the second half of the previous three years. Import of potatoes to Georgia (excluding seed potatoes) in the previous month amounted to 2,400 tons. This is eight times more than the average for August over the past three years.
The reason for the high import volumes is the same as in July: Russian importers purchased large volumes of Georgian potatoes in previous months, leading to very low local supplies ahead of the new harvest in September. Turkey dominated in the import of potatoes to Georgia with a share of 97% in physical terms.
As the potato harvest begins this month in Georgia’s main production region, Samtsk-Javakheti, average prices have dropped from $0.35 per kg 4-5 weeks ago to $0.29 last week. East-fruit.com reports that there may be further declines as Turkish potatoes were imported in August at $0,23. So far, we have not reached the low prices of 2020 that disappointed Georgian growers then. The average price last week was 20-30% higher than the same week in the previous three years.