Since the second half of February, onion prices on the Moldovan wholesale market have been rising at 1 MDL/kg per week, that is, plus 6-8% to the average price of the previous week. Wholesale onions cost on average 17 MDL/kg ($0.91/kg) last week. This is probably the highest price both in national currency and in USD/EUR in the entire history of the Republic of Moldova.
At the same time, judging by the EastFruit monitoring data, the onion price range expanded last week compared to the previous week. The highest-quality onions cost 18 MDL/kg ($0.97/kg), while the minimum price level for average-quality onions stabilized at 16 MDL/kg ($0.86/kg). Most deals were done at this price. Given this circumstance, some operators of the local fruit and vegetable market assume that the potential for growth in prices for onions in Moldova has been exhausted – consumers are not ready to pay more. Meanwhile, onions in Moldova are still cheaper than in Poland ($0.97/kg) and Ukraine ($1.23/kg).
As market analysts believe, relatively cheap Egyptian onions from the Romanian port of Constanta have become available in Moldova. However, the “country of origin – Egypt” label has not yet been found on the price tags of onions in the stores of supermarket chains. But we can assume that in some cases low-quality onions positioned as local or European are Egyptian onions.
In addition, as traders note, some large agricultural enterprises in Moldova still have small stocks – hundreds of tonnes of onions, which will be enough for two to three weeks. During this time, there will probably not be a big change in the current level of wholesale prices. However, the traditional seasonal increase in onion prices in April cannot be avoided. Despite the warm March and faster growth of local winter onions, they will not become available on the Moldovan market earlier than in May.
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