According to experts from the Federation of Agricultural Producers of Moldova (FARM), by mid-January 2021, the range of a few hundred to a thousand tons of last year’s harvest of plums remained in farmers’ refrigerated warehouses. These products are still available in the produce departments of local supermarkets. However, the retail prices and quality of Moldovan plums vary widely. Thus, small and soft Stanley variety plums are sold in chain stores at no more than 20 lei/kg ($1.16/kg). Medium-sized dense Angelino plums can cost up to 40-47 lei/kg ($2.31-2.71/kg). Small wholesale prices for dessert plums for local retail chains do not exceed 14-15 lei/kg ($0.84-0.9/kg). Poor quality plums are purchased by individual retailers several times cheaper. In the current situation, farmers who have significant leftovers of the Stanley plums prefer to sell it to dried fruit producers as soon as possible.
EastFruit previously reported that in 2020 the processing of plums in Moldova decreased by an order of magnitude. Local producers of dried fruits have stable customers-buyers in the European Union and last year they worked hard to fulfil contracts. For this, they bought plums of even small sizes and irregular shapes at a high price of 4.0-4.5 lei/kg ($0.27-0.30/kg).
According to FARM expert Andrei Zbanka, storing plums for a long time in an industrial refrigerator does not reduce the manufacturability of these products as raw materials for the production of dried fruits. In his opinion, this category of processors will be interested in collecting a certain volume of technical discharge in the winter and probably pay high prices in the autumn for it.
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