The global honey market is expected to grow from $8.53 billion in 2022 to $12.69 billion by 2029. The demand for honey is being driven by consumers' growing preference for natural and organic sweeteners.

In 2022, compared to 2021, the export value of Georgian honey increased by 79% and the export volume by 49%, which indicates that the price of exported honey increased significantly. This could be attributed to the improvement of honey quality in the country and the popularization of Georgian honey in international markets, especially the EU. Among all countries, France had the highest share in the export value of Georgian honey during the period of 2016- 2022, at 32%, with Bulgaria - second at 19%, and Norway third at 4%.

Throughout 2016-2022, among the leading countries to which Georgia exported honey, Russia had the lowest average export price (USD 0.75/kg), while for the EU the average export price was equal to USD 5.5/kg.

The export value and volume of honey declined in 2022 compared to 2021 by 38% and 52% respectively. A similar declining trend was observed in imports, where the value declined by 18% and the volume dropped by 22% compared to 2021. This decline in the trade of honey in 2022 could be explained by supply chain deteriorations due to Russia’s war in Ukraine, as the latter is one of the world’s biggest exporters of natural honey.

Notably, based on the latest statistics, the world’s biggest exporters by value in 2022 were New Zealand (17%), followed by Germany, Ukraine, and Brazil (each amounting to 9% of total exports). Only in 2022, those top countries exported honey worth USD 698.2 million. In comparison, exports from Georgia amount to only 0.07% of the total export value, while by volume it amounts to 0.01% of total exports, indicating the potential positioning of Georgian exported honey as high quality, rather than high quantity product.

Meanwhile, in 2022, the biggest importers were the USA (36%) and Germany (14%), followed by Japan (8%) and the United Kingdom (6%). Those countries together imported honey worth USD 1.4 billion in 2022.

Since 2019, its export value as well as the export volume of honey has been steadily increasing in Georgia.

Export price, which is calculated as value divided by volume, fluctuated throughout the reporting period, peaking in 2019 at USD 8.8/kg, while declining to USD 4.6/kg in 2022. The high volatility here is explained by differences in the countries to which natural honey was traded in different years.

Trade in the EU has been increasing sharply and, compared to 2016, the export value has increased from USD 100 to USD 888,500, and the export volume went from 0.01 tons to 210.93 tons.

Export value to EU countries increased by 75% and volume rose by 48% in 2022 compared to 2021. For CIS countries, value, as well as volume, declined by 68% and 93%. It is important to note here that the export value to EU countries was approximately 86 times greater than to CIS countries. Notably, the demand from EU countries is expected to increase further, especially for light-colored Acacia honey11.

Since 2021, imports have been negligible compared to exports. Prior to that, in 2016, the import value represented 79% of the total trade value, and the import volume was 88% of the total trade volume. However, in the later years (2020-2022) the share of imports in total trade declined significantly. For instance, in 2022, the import value was 7% of the total trade value, and the import volume was 11%.