Representatives of the Association Speranța Con believe that in the current season, apple processing will be completed in late March – early April, about 1.5 months earlier than in previous years. Given the sharp warming and the associated rapid degradation of the quality of apples for concentrate, it is likely that two out of three enterprises operating this spring will stop buying apples this month.
According to a preliminary assessment of the association’s specialists, the factories will process about 200 000-210 000 tonnes of apples of the 2022 harvest by the end of the season. In previous years, they purchased about 340 000-370 000 tonnes of raw material for processing.
According to factory managers, the decline in the production of apple concentrate is due to three primary reasons. First is a sharp decrease in the apple harvest in Moldova last year – about 400 000-420 000 tonnes against 660 000 tonnes in 2021.
Secondly, under the pressure of bad news from the traditional markets for apples and the purchase of energy, Moldovan agricultural producers and traders put much fewer apples into fruit storages for sale in winter and spring last fall, but of better quality. According to expert estimates, EastFruit reported that by mid-March, about 60 000 tonnes of apples remained in storage in Moldova, i.e. 20-30% lower than during the same period in previous years. It is not easy, but quite realistic, to sell this volume until June inclusive on the “fresh market”.
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Thirdly, given the growing costs and unclear prospects for selling the concentrate in the summer-autumn of this year, Moldovan processors do not want to increase the purchase prices for apples above 1.9-2 MDL/kg ($0.10/kg) in the spring. At the same time, in the domestic wholesale market, apples of even a small diameter are gradually being sold almost three times more expensive.
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