Since mid-July, wholesale prices for blackberries in Moldova have decreased by 5-7 MDL/kg over the week, depending on the quality. By the beginning of August, the average wholesale price stabilized at 35 MDL/kg ($ 1.94/kg). According to the growers, the blackberry sales season started 10-14 days later than last year due to cool and rainy weather. But thanks to the active and almost simultaneous ripening of berries of different varieties, the season will be relatively short and will end at the usual time – in the end of August. Farmers say, there is hope that blackberry prices will not decrease significantly by that time, unlike in previous seasons.
There are several reasons for optimistic forecasts. Firstly, in some areas of northern Moldova, where blackberry production is concentrated, it rained occasionally in the second half of July, which caused unstable harvest and supply of berries to the domestic market. As a result, the range of wholesale prices for blackberries expanded: high-quality dry berries from plantations were sold at 40 MDL/kg, and the price in the wholesale markets of Chisinau sometimes decreased to 30-33 MDL/kg ($ 1.66-1, 83/kg). However, there are few offers to sell berries to intermediaries, especially cheap ones. Small farmers prefer to sell or process their products on their own (into liqueurs).
Secondly, the export of blackberries to the Russian market increased by the end of July. Thirdly, some farmers claim to have received offers from frozen berry producers to purchase blackberries at a high price – almost 1 euro/kg. Blackberries have not been yet supplied for freezing even at this price, but this opportunity might be encouraging for farmers.
In any case, many growers still assess the current season as good. In late July – early August last year, the level of wholesale prices for blackberries was significantly lower – on average 25-30 MDL/kg ($ 1.47-1.76/kg).
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