Georgia’s Wheat Imports
Georgia remains nearly dependent on Russian wheat. In the first half of 2020, the country bought wheat solely from this importer. In such a time span, Georgia purchased 223,000 tonnes of wheat for a total of $49,371,000.
Wheat prices recently appeared to be steadily increasing on the global market, also in Russia. In September the price of one tonne of this commodity rose up from $205 to $215, and as it is forecasted, prices will continue to be higher. If such reliance will decline, prices of basic consumer goods will go up as well. For now on, price rise is not yet that apparent as Georgia has an adequate reserve of wheat. Last month as wheat prices rose up Levan Silagadze, executive director of the Association of Wheat and Flour Producers, stated that even if the cost will be $15 more per tonne, it will not affect basic consumer goods significantly.
Limited-reliance on Russians imports became a disputable topic, during the coronavirus pandemic, as back in April Russian Agriculture Ministry announced to suspend shipment of this commodity in the time span between April 26th and July 1st, due to security reasons. Georgian media spotlighted this topic, but as Executive Director of the Georgian Flour Producers Association Levan Silagava stated back then “we always have two months’ supply”. Such a situation emerged a need for Georgia’s food security to be supplied by diversified importers and not to rely on solely one, to become more independent and to avoid the risk of the deficit.