This week, some of the most technically advanced horticultural companies in Moldova delivered the first batches of late varieties of cherries to the Russian market. The heads of these companies claim that several traders supplying fruits to the Russian market offered them 30 MDL/kg ($ 1.67/kg, containers and VAT included) for Kordia varieties.
Growers say that this price level for this variety of cherries is not one of the best but could be a fair price this year. This is explained by the fact that, firstly, Russian wholesalers bought Turkish cherries of premium quality (according to the standards of the Russian fruit market) at $ 2.4-2.5/kg a week ago.
Secondly, due to heavy rains in June-July, Moldovan cherries fall short of “reliable export quality”. The abundance of moisture led to the cracking of fruit. Even in the best horticultural farms equipped with anti-hail and anti-rain systems, the level of cracking of cherries of the “Kordia” variety is estimated at about 30% of the total harvest. The fruits for the most part did not crack much and if they did, it was long before ripening. By the time of harvesting, damage on the fruits healed and dried up – they did not rot, which is good for transportation and the shelf-life.
In some farms, even those equipped with sorting lines, additional sorting of fruits is done manually just before export delivery. In addition, in such farms, experiments are carried out with hydrocooling technology in order to increase he shelf-life of the product.
Exporters point out the encouraging fact that buyers of cherries in Russia, given the difficult weather conditions in the current season, set less strict requirements for the quality of Moldovan cherries. Dry shallow cracks on fruits less than 1 mm wide are allowed, as well as small deviations from fruit calibert of 26+ mm (for cherry varieties “Kordia” this is not relevant, as they are mostly large – 30+). To a greater extent, Moldovan cherry exporters are worried that due to excess moisture, cherries have not got enough sugar and necessary level of dry matter this year, which affected their organoleptic characteristics.
Precipitation will have a great influence on the dynamics of exports of Moldovan cherries in the next week. Some weather forecasts show there will not be any, while others indicate their low and medium probability. If there is no rain in the near future, the exports of Kordia cherries will improve. Some growers claim that if favorable weather is established after these cherries are harvested, they will export them to France, where cherries have recently been requested.
Also, heads of some companies look to the harvest of the Regina cherry orchards which is to start next week. Until that moment, Moldovan farmers count on the self-pollinated cherry variety “Skina” – it is medium-sized, but dense and without mechanical damage this year
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