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Opinion: Rains will not change the downward trend in cucumber prices in Moldova

EastFruit monitoring shows that since mid-May 2021, wholesale prices for greenhouse cucumbers on the Moldovan market have decreased by an average of 5 MDL/kg ($ 0.28/kg) per week, reaching the level of 11-13 MDL/kg ($ 0.61-0.73/kg). This is almost twice as high as the price for it in late May – early June last year – 20-22 MDL ($ 1.12-1.23/kg). It is worth noting that cucumber prices dropped to approximately the current range in 2020 only in mid-June 2020 and remained there until October, with slight deviations.

Operators of the Moldovan fruit and vegetable market explain the early and rapid drop in prices for greenhouse cucumbers by the influx of imports (from Turkey, the European Union and, more recently, Ukraine). Despite the fact that the country’s own production of greenhouse cucumbers is small – experts estimate the total area of ​​greenhouses (mostly film tunnels) for cucumbers at less than fifty hectares – local farmers are forced to reduce prices in order to compete with importers, at least in the segment of fruit and vegetable trade in stores. Moreover, at the end of May, the first open field cucumbers became available on the Moldovan market.

According to the experts of the organizations of fruit growers, a sharp cold snap and precipitation may postpone the main season of local open field cucumbers for a week, but they are unlikely to stop the prices reduction for them. The problem is that the area for commercial open-field cucumber plantations in Moldova, according to expert estimates, has more than doubled this year, compared to last year’s level – up to 600-700 hectares. Taking into account that the largest supermarket chains prefer to import cucumbers even in the first half of summer, it can be assumed that prices for this local product will be under pressure until autumn.

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