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Potato prices in Moldova are rising – will imports from Egypt ease the market tension?

According to EastFruit analysts, wholesale prices for potatoes in Moldova started rising again after short-term decline. The growth is not too sharp yet – within 10-12% on a week but it may just be enough to signal a radical change in the market trends. Prices are back to the levels observed at the beginning of January 2024 – 7-9 MDL/kg, which is equivalent to US $0.39-0.50/kg. However, supply of local low-quality potatoes has decreased significantly, and even such products have become slightly more expensive.

As EastFruit previously reported, the rise in price of this product on the Moldovan market was held back by the imports of relatively inexpensive Belarusian potatoes. However, due to complex and expensive logistics due to Belarus’s direct involvement in war against Ukraine and consecutive international sanctions against aggressors, shipments are irregular and unpredictable. Thus, potato prices for high quality potatoes are gradually rising.

Noteworthy, Belarusian supplies of cheap potatoes are help keep average potato prices in Moldova lower than in Ukraine, which used to export potatoes to Moldova. However, potato prices in Ukraine are record high and it is now importing potatoes from Poland.

It is difficult to judge how long Moldova will continue having a potato price advantage over Ukraine. Moldova’s own potato stocks are declining very quickly, so it is possible that in the short term the country will regain its primacy in the ranking of countries with the most expensive potatoes in the EastFruit price monitoring zone.

Read also: Onion prices continue to rise in Moldova to make imports from Central Asia profitable

Market players expect potato imports from Egypt to start in February. However, this product is unlikely to be very affordable as potato prices in Europe are very high. Potatoes to Moldova will be shipped via Romanian ports, which means that Egyptian potatoes will in Moldova will at least as expensive as in the EU.

EastFruit

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