The first batches of imported potatoes arrived in Moldova, as businessmen say, in the first days of April. Potatoes come from Egypt and possibly Morocco. In the domestic market of the country, the wholesale price for potatoes from North Africa was about $1-1.2/kg, they are bought and sold at retail mainly by supermarket chains (not discounters). They usually offer potatoes in 1kg plastic trays and flowe packs at a price of 30-35 MDL/kg ($1.67-1.95/kg).
In addition, early potatoes from the southern regions of Romania became available in the “boutique” retail of Chisinau and some other cities at the beginning of the week, EastFruit reports. The price for small wholesale lots is slightly higher – up to $1.4/kg. Specialists of the Association of Potato Growers of the Republic of Moldova claim that they are distinguished by a lighter color and are slightly smaller than North African potatoes. Consumers are usually encouraged to choose potatoes from plastic bags. The retail price for the freshest Romanian potatoes reaches 40 MDL/kg ($2.24/kg).
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According to market operators, early imported potatoes became available about a week later last year and cost a little less than $1/kg in small wholesale, i.e. about 10-15% cheaper than in April 2023.
According to the forecast of representatives of the organization of potato growers, local potatoes grown in greenhouses and in fields under agrill will begin to enter the Moldovan market at the end of the first decade of May. A wholesale price of 14-15 MDL/kg ($0.78-0.84/kg) can be considered suitable for farmers-sellers at that moment. However, taking into account the rather favorable weather in April and good harvest prospects, the price for new potatoes will probably be decreasing by 1-3 MDL/kg per week from the second half of May. However, according to the industry association, selling new potatoes in the spring is a less risky business than selling late potatoes between autumn and next spring.
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