According to the Union of Associations of Nut Producers of Moldova, the members of the organization began to receive requests to buy walnut kernels this week. This has occasionally happened before, but Moldovan export traders did not respond to such requests, since the main market for Moldovan nuts has been the European Union for the last five to seven years. However, given the weak demand for nuts in major European importing countries, some Moldovan traders tend to sell small volumes of walnut kernels to Russian, non-traditional buyers.
Demand prices for Moldovan walnuts (kernel) from Russian wholesale buyers are 2.5-2.8 EUR/kg. European wholesalers intended to buy walnuts from Moldova at about the same price, or slightly lower from time to time this year, EastFruit reports. However, they wanted batches of kernels of consistently high quality. The requirements for product quality on the part of Russian buyers, according to the Nut Association of Moldova, are more liberal. But it is not yet confirmed, and long, complex and expensive logistics add uncertainty. As a result, there is no guarantee that at least trial batches of walnut kernels from Moldova will go to the Russian market soon.
Moreover, according to Moldovan exporters, the demand for walnut kernels from European (mainly French and German) buyers-processors revived on the eve of Easter. In their opinion, this is due to a reduction in stocks of European and North American walnuts from last year’s harvest, as well as about a month and a half lag until walnuts of a new harvest from Chile enter the EU market. As a result, it is quite possible that the supply of Moldovan walnuts to the European market will speed up a little in the second half of April.
However, this moderately positive forecast has not yet affected the prices in the domestic nut market in Moldova. Wholesale prices for walnut kernels in the local market since the end of February have remained in the range of 70-80 MDL/kg ($3.88-4.44/kg) – on average about 20-30% lower than last year’s level in the same period.
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