Large volumes of Greek strawberries have become available on the wholesale and retail markets of Moldova this week. The wholesale price is quite standard – 80 MDL/kg ($4.3/kg), the same as in late March – early April last year. There is no wide price range, which, according to market operators, “clearly shows that the circle of importers-suppliers is narrow and stable, and has been formed for quite a long time.” Over the past few years, early imported strawberries, as well as niche berries – blueberries, sea buckthorn, elderberries, honeysuckle – have been entering the Moldovan market exclusively from Romania, EastFruit reports. In the last three years, up to 80-90% of fresh imported strawberries – about 400-700 tonnes – are sold in the spring months.
The first, relatively seasonal imported strawberries became available in the wholesale and retail markets of Moldovan cities in mid-March, simultaneously with the restoration of the market trade. However, at that moment, prices had not yet been formed: wholesale sellers asked 120-140 MDL/kg ($6.5-7.5/kg) for strawberries and 150-160 MDL/kg and more ($8.1-8.6/kg) in retail. However, demand was extremely low. In Moldova, consumers more or less massively begin to regularly buy fresh strawberries no earlier than the end of March – the beginning of April. A somewhat stable starting price for imported strawberries is established at this time, which subsequently local strawberry producers have to count with. At the turn of March-April 2023, the price of Greek strawberries in micro-wholesale and retail, for some short time will stay in the range of 80-100 MDL/kg. It seems that Moldovan berry growers are unlikely to sell their first strawberries at a higher price.
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In the coming days, a significant cooling is expected in Moldova: up to +3-5 degrees during the day and up to -1-2 degrees at night, snow is possible. Even if the cool weather lasts only a few days, it will still delay the first greenhouse strawberry harvest from local producers for 7-10 days. That is, sales of local strawberries will begin on the eve of Easter week.
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