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Moldova’s gross harvest of potatoes and vegetables lower than forecasted for 2020

According to updated 2020 data by the National Bureau of Statistics, Moldova produced 171,000 tons of potatoes and 225,000 tons of vegetables. These statistics are 3.3% and 12.2% tons less than in 2019, which was 177,000 tons and 307,000 tons respectively.

These statistics were unexpected because, in July 2020, the bureau reported that the agricultural area under potatoes increased by 27% up to 23,000 hectares and under vegetables by 8%, up to almost 40,000 hectares compared to the previous year. Taking this into account, the specialists of Moldovan producer organizations assumed that the production of potatoes and vegetables in the country slightly increased even under the drought conditions. In turn, operators of the horticulture market kept prices for many types of vegetables at a relatively low level (except for cucumbers, tomatoes, and herb crops) throughout almost the entire second half of 2020.

Read also: Potatoes and carrots began to rise in price. Market overview for the 4th week of 2021

Regardless, the updated statistics show that the expansion of the area under potatoes and vegetables did not in fact ensure an increase in the gross harvest. Due to late spring frosts and summer drought, yields decreased too much, which affected potatoes by an average of 22% and vegetables by 44%.

Taking this into account, it can be assumed that in 2020 low prices for potatoes and vegetables in Moldova were not due to a decrease in the scale of imports of these products nor a decrease in capacity on the domestic market (due to self-sufficiency of households and drop in demand).

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