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Potato prices in Moldova are rising due to higher bread prices and increased logistics costs

Potato prices rose in Moldova last week: both the minimum and maximum wholesale prices increased – 4.5-6 MDL/kg ($0.25-0.33/kg). Moreover, the increase in the maximum price was more substantial – prices for relatively high-quality potatoes increased by 1 MDL/kg or more. Compared to the beginning of February last year, prices for potatoes in MDL increased by about 12-15%. However, the February rise in the potato price on the Moldovan market in dollar and in euro terms does not exceed 1-2%.

According to representatives of the Association of Potato Growers of Moldova, the February rise in the price of potatoes is most likely to have a long-term nature, and its reasons differ from the reasons for the periodic price rise in January-December. At the beginning of 2022, prices for low-quality local potatoes mainly increased, depending on their greater or lesser supply in the city’s wholesale markets on certain days. By the beginning of February, the stocks of such potatoes were depleted (largely due to drying out and a large rejection – farms put a lot of low-quality potatoes in hasty storages last year). But now, even in the face of gradually increasing demand, many retailers are no longer ready to pay more for low-quality goods.

It is worth mentioning that bread has once again risen in price in Moldova. One of the largest players of the country’s grain market increased bread prices by 30% at once. Retail prices for almost all bakery positions in most stores have already equaled or exceeded the retail price of a kilogram of low and average-quality bulk potatoes. Thus, we can assume that the rise in price for potatoes in the foreseeable future is almost guaranteed.

The Association of Potato Growers believes that the average price level will push up the prices for imported potatoes of relatively high quality in February. First of all, the costs of transport logistics of products imported from Romania, Poland, and Belarus will increase. Now there is not much imports on the Moldovan market, most of them coming from Ukraine. However, wholesale traders say it is usually difficult for them to negotiate with Ukrainian suppliers on the purchase of potatoes in small lots at a more or less acceptable price in February-March.


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