EastFruit analysts review a recent surge in kiwifruit imports for the latest season in Georgia. They also address more long-term trends. For the first time, import volumes are more than 50% of the local production, which in turn has not decreased. This means the demand has grown.
Data sources: GeoStat, Ministry of Finance of Georgia
Note: Production data for the 2022-2023 season is preliminary, September-April data are taken for external trade data because May data is not published yet; external trade is usually active during September-May
So far, kiwifruit imports in the latest season have reached 2.5 thousand tons, which is 55% higher than what Georgia produced. The main supplier of imports is usually Iran, and this season is no exception. More than 95% of the imported kiwifruits in Georgia came from Iran. There is no trade data available for May so far, but the imports are active in May too. So, the kiwifruit import volume for this season will be more than the above-mentioned 2.5 thousand tons. Supply on the market falls off quickly after May, and we can say that the kiwifruit consumption season in Georgia is over.
Meanwhile, 10% of the local production was exported abroad. Practically the only destination was Japan. Overall, 160 tons of Georgian kiwifruit were exported, which is a record-high level first achieved in the 2019-2020 season. As before, Georgian exports of kiwifruit were most active during the harvesting period of September-October.
The production volume of kiwifruit in Georgia has grown by 60% from 2014 to 2022. There has been a slowdown in the last two seasons. Production growth has stopped at 1.6 thousand tons. However, the market’s total supply volume (production + imports – exports) has been growing steadily. From the 2016-2017 season to the 2022-2023 season, the total supply of kiwifruits on the Georgian market has been growing by on average 0.25 thousand tons each season. Compared to the 2016-2017 season, the total supply volume will double this season and go over 4 thousand tons.
A major reason for the jump in consumption of kiwifruits in the 2022-2023 season is the demand boost coming from the influx of Russian citizens. The latter of course had a more wide effect – the demand increased for many products, not just for the kiwifruits. Another factor for the demand growth is the post-pandemic recovery of the Georgian economy. Many people started earning money again, and spending is more tasteful after the lockdowns.
For more information: east-fruit.com