Mass plum harvesting is coming to an end in Moldova. Farmers are trying to speed up the process to have time to release the last plum plantations of late varieties (mainly “President”) from harvest before cold weather and precipitation, the likelihood of which will increase by the end of next week, writes EastFruit. At the final stage of the harvesting campaign, managers of horticultural enterprises are inclined to assume that this year’s plum harvest may be higher than the original forecast.
EastFruit reported that according to USAID experts, the plum harvest in Moldova will amount to 85 thousand tons. It was also assumed that the country would export about 70 thousand tons of plums from the 2023 harvest.
Farmers note that at the beginning of harvesting plums of late (autumn) varieties, due to the predominantly small size of the fruits, many had the impression that the harvest would be relatively low – below the “grandmaster level” of 100 thousand tons. As the harvesting campaign progressed, the crop quality (the predominance of small and medium-sized fruits) generally stayed the same. However, many agricultural producers noted that “there are a lot of plums on the trees.”
In September, according to the observations of employees of fruit-growing organizations, the demand from export traders for plums – and not even of the best quality – was high. The average wholesale price for plums has grown by 15-20% weekly since the middle of the month. At the end of September, the price (about 7 lei/kg, $0.39/kg) is still significantly below the level at the same time in the previous two years (9-10/kg, $0.51/kg). However, demand encourages even small farmers to try to sell low-quality plums on the domestic fresh market. Although previously plums from this segment of Moldovan fruit growing were most often sent for processing or did not fall into the category of marketable products at all. For this reason, market operators think the 2023 harvest may be higher than last year.
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