The season of duties exemption for several groups of food products, including fresh fruit supplied from Moldova to the Russian market, expired on March 31, 2021. As a result, according to preliminary estimates of Moldovan traders, they will have to subtract from the current prices for exported apples, depending on their variety and quality, approximately 0.60-0.80 MDL/kg ($ 0.03-0.04/kg).
For Moldovan trade enterprises, which bought apples at relatively high prices on the local market last autumn for export to the Russian market in spring 2021, this is a rather serious issue. Many exporting traders were already working on the brink of zero profitability in winter this year: the prices for apples in Russia were significantly lower than expected, and the supply volumes, as EastFruit reported, were significantly lower than in the same months of previous years.
Producers of apples, especially those of high quality, found themselves in an equally difficult situation. In the absence of customs privileges, the advantages of Moldovan goods are decreasing in the highly competitive Russian apple market, and due to the limited purchasing power, the potential for price growth even for high-quality fruit is apparently exhausted.
According to the estimates of the associations of agricultural producers and traders, by the beginning of April, about 50-60 thousand tons of apples of the 2020 harvest remain in refrigerated warehouses. However, considering their “residual quality”, only half of these apples can be sold on the “fresh market” at best.
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