Malkhaz Dolidze, the Head of the Georgian Bread Manufacturers Union, on Monday said the price of the product in Georgia is not expected to increase until the end of May, following a recent particle increase.
Dolidze said the Union had announced an increase of ₾0.2 in the month, with a ₾0.1 increase already observed. Further increases are not expected to take place this month, he noted, adding a two-month supply of flour was ensured for the local market. He also said the flour stock would be filled with Georgian wheat thereafter.
The wheat harvest in Georgia has increased by 30 percent compared to the previous year. In addition, deliveries have not stopped - a million trailers loaded with flour are entering Georgia,” Dolidze said.
The Head of the Union also said the country was in a pre-harvest period and pointed out “wheat-related problems” had arisen across the world, pointing at the ongoing hostilities in Ukraine as a factor and noting the floating customs tax imposed on wheat and not on flour had created “some problems” with the former.
Levan Silagava, the Executive Director of the Georgian Wheat and Flour Producers Association, said wheat stocks in Georgia were used up, adding mills in the country were expected to stop their operation.
The mills do not import wheat and the country has shifted to flour. If conditions of fair competition were to return, we would have an offer to supply first quality flour at a target price indicated by bread producers,” Silagava said.
He also said the Association wanted to meet with the country’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili to discuss the issue, noting a tripartite working group involving ministries of Economy, Finance and Agriculture that worked on the issue had “exhausted itself.”
Georgian Agriculture Minister Otar Shamugia said in March Georgia had the resources to increase its wheat self-sufficiency to 50 percent.
In 2021, Georgia purchased 367,000 tonnes of wheat worth $93.5 million, including 338,000 tonnes worth $87.4 million from Russia and 24.4 thousand tonnes worth $4.6 million from the United States.
Last year, Georgian wheat production increased by 32.9 percent amounting to 136,100 tonnes.