The decline in prices for grapes has accelerated in Moldova since the last week of January. The decline affects products of all quality categories and varieties to one degree or another. However, the wholesale price for grapes of the main export variety “Moldova” decreased the most in the first week of February 2021 by 1 lei/kg to an average price of 8.5 lei/kg ($0.51/kg). One year ago at this time, Moldova variety grapes in bulk cost twice as much on average at about 18 lei/kg and, in February 2019, it was at 9 lei/kg.
The reason for the price decline is a decrease in the quality of grapes due to drought compared to the level of the previous year. Due to the specific weather conditions, the harvesting and storing of Moldova grapes in refrigerators in 2020 took place on average almost a month earlier than usual. Accordingly, by the beginning of February 2021, the products were in refrigerators for longer than at the same time last year. Initially, the quality of the 2019 harvest products intended for storage was noticeably higher.
Representatives of table grape grower associations note that farmers are trying to at least partially correct the situation by re-sorting products like manually removing spoiled berries. As a result, the rejection of substandard goods in some cases reaches 20-30%. Unfortunately, the presentation of the bunches from this does not improve much and exports are still at risk of complaints.
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