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Moldova jumps to #3 in global plum export ranking by diversifying away from Russia

EastFruit analysts note that the most active fresh plum season is coming to an end in Moldova, and it is a good time to make some preliminary conclusions, which are extremely interesting.

According to the forecast of Moldovan fruit growers’ organizations, in November exports of fresh plums are unlikely to exceed 10 thousand tons. According to the Customs Service of Moldova, in October 2023 exports reached to almost 23 thousand tons. In July-October 2023 Moldova exported almost 74 thousand tons of fresh plums earning more than $38 million. The average price of the exported plums was $0.52/kg.

This means that Moldova has already beat the previous plum export record achieved in 2017/18 by at least 24 thousand tonnes and has already doubled the exports of fresh plums compared to the previous season. Moreover, the season 2023/24 is not over and the total plum exports from Moldova could reach 85 thousand tonnes, according to industry insiders. If so, considering the decline in plum yields in Spain, Moldova in 2023/24 could become the 3rd largest global exporter of fresh plums beating Spain. The only two countries, which are likely to export more plums than Moldova are Chile and South Africa – both from the Southern Hemisphere. Which means that Moldova will be a #1 exporter of plums in the Northern Hemisphere.

Read also: Shortage of export quality apples in Türkiye makes it source from Ukraine and Moldova

Geography of plum exports from Moldova is also very exciting. Only 14 thousand tons of fresh plums were to the so-called CIS countries, mostly Russia, while 54 thousand tons went to the EU. Thus, 73% of all plums were exported to the European Union, which is huge success. In the previous seasons the situation was contrary – most of the plums were exported to Russia. Interestingly enough, Moldova even exceeded the duty-free quota of plum exports to the EU, which presently is set at 40 thousand tonnes but it did not stop buyers from importing Moldovan plums.

Of the EU countries Romania was the largest importer of plums from Moldova with 17 thousand tons bought thus far. Poland was the second largest with 12 thousand tons and Germany the third with 7 thousand tons. Large volumes went also to the Czech Republic and Croatia. Interestingly enough, Russia bought only slightly more plums than Germany, sliding down in rankings of the important markets. Exporters from Moldova discovered that markets in the EU could pay higher prices for high quality fruits and could be more reliable partners in the longer run.

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