Prices for Idared and Renet Simirenko apple varieties slightly increased in Moldova at the turn of January and February of this year. The price of low-quality apples increased to the level of 8.5-9.0 lei/kg ($0.51-0.54/kg) and the maximum price of these varieties remained almost unchanged at about 10 lei/kg ($0.60/kg). This is apparently due to the limited supply of these high-quality apples on the part of agricultural producers and, as traders-buyers believe, “their overstated purchase price expectations.” Back in autumn when apples were put into refrigerated storage, horticultural farm managers hoped for winter purchase prices for Idared not less than 12 lei/kg ($0.72/kg).
EastFruit analysts noted last week that Moldova became the only country in the monitoring region where the previously established positive price trends strengthened. Sellers, relying on high trading activity from buyers of Idared and Renet Simirenko, raised the selling prices for these apple varieties by 6-7%. According to local market operators, even with weakening demand, prices will continue to be revised upward at the earliest opportunity as the total stocks of apples from the 2020 harvest in Moldova are rapidly decreasing.
Moldovan fruit market operators believe that the current rise in prices for these apple varieties is due to two main factors. The first is a winter (post-holiday) increase in demand for apples of low-quality of the cheapest varieties, which are traditionally Idared and Renet Simirenko, on the Russian market (especially since the latter apple is usually not large).
The second factor is the relative shortage of quality but cheap apple varieties on the Russian market. There are quite a few apples from Iran in this segment on the Russian market at this time. However, according to wholesale traders, retail is unhappy with them since the Iranian apple is rapidly losing its consumer properties on store shelves. With this in mind, apples from Moldova, which are less problematic in the process of the sale, are presented to chain retailers as a profitable alternative despite the slightly higher wholesale price.
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