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Georgia to replace Russian wheat import with the Kazakh one

By Khatia Bzhalava
Tuesday, March 2
As Executive Director of the Georgian Flour Producers Association Levan Silagava announced yesterday, Russian wheat import to Georgia will be partially replaced with Kazakh wheat due to the doubling of Russian wheat export tax. Silagava said that the import of Ukrainian and Romanian wheat is also being considered.

Starting March 1, Russia’s wheat duty on shipments rose from Euro25 to Euro50 a ton. According to the executive director of the Georgian Flour Producers Association, Russia doubling its wheat export tax has made the situation in the world market quite tense “As Russia is one of the biggest players in the field.” Silagava stated that at this stage, Kazakhstan will only partially replace Russian wheat import, because quantitatively, the potential of Kazakh wheat is not enough to cover Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and other countries.

Silagava stated that Georgia constantly has at least two months of wheat supply, thus facing a wheat shortage is not expected.

As for the increase of bread price, Silagava noted that after the price for one bag of flour went up to ?68 in Georgia, state subsidy increased from 10 to 15 Lari per 50 kilograms of wheat to avoid an increase in bread prices during the pandemic, however, the program ends on March 31 and if the state does not implement another subsidy, bread price might increase by 15-20 tetri.

According to the official statistics, Russia was the main importer of wheat for Georgia last year as up to 90% of the wheat imported to Georgia came from Russia. In 2020, grain was imported to Georgia from nine countries: Russia - 488 279.33 tons, US - 2 500.00 tons,Turkey - 55.0 tons, Ukraine - 48.1 tons, Austria - 38.6 tons, Greece - 22.5 tons, France - 0.65 tons, Denmark - 0.30 tons, Germany - 0.29 tons.