According to EastFruit monitoring, the average wholesale price for last year’s potatoes on the Moldovan market has increased from $0.32/kg to $0.37/kg over the past two weeks. The price in the same period last year was lower by 45-50%.
Participants of the country’s fruit and vegetable market claim that the dynamic growth in prices for last year’s potatoes in May, which is especially noticeable given price stagnation in most of April, is due to two main reasons. The first is a tangible reduction in the market supply of 2021 crop potatoes, especially those of acceptable quality. The potato trade has shifted from open city markets to supermarkets that offer washed potatoes in high-quality consumer packaging, but at a rather high retail price of 14-17 MDL/kg ($0.74-0.95/kg).
The second reason for the price rise is negative forecasts for the harvest of early potatoes from open field plantations. According to the weather reports, it will become warmer in Moldova in the near future. A sharp transition “from winter to summer” usually leads to a slowdown in the growth of root crops and potatoes. It is possible that the expected high atmospheric temperature will not have a sharp negative impact on the state of potato fields, especially those irrigated and covered with agril. However, there is a risk that small early potatoes in small volumes and, apparently, at a high price, will enter the market at the very beginning of the season.
By the way, the season of selling potatoes from greenhouses in the southern regions of the country started in Moldova last week. Small wholesale prices are high: 22-25 MDL/kg ($1.17-1.33/kg). Last year, locally produced early potatoes went on sale in mid-May at 18-19 MDL/kg ($1.01-1.07/kg).
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