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Potatoes in Moldova may become cheaper – forecast

Operators of the Moldovan fruit and vegetable market fear that the reduction of wholesale prices for potatoes, which started in the second half of December 2022, may continue in January. The reason for the possible next reduction in the potato price is the same – low demand.

Potatoes were sold in bulk at the city markets of Moldova last week at December prices – 6-7 MDL/kg ($0.30-0.31/kg). However, most sellers complained about the decline in the already low demand. Probably, this circumstance relates to the outflow of the diaspora, which celebrated the winter holidays at home, to work and study abroad. Besides, the rest of the population of Moldova switched to a “post-holiday savings regime”, including savings on regular food products.

A few weeks earlier, mostly medium, and small-sized wholesale traders had hoped for an increase in demand for basic food products, including potatoes and borsch vegetables, from the education establishments and food service from mid-January. However, it is not yet clear how kindergartens, schools, and universities will operate, due to the spread of seasonal influenza and other diseases.

Read also: TOP events in the fruit growing of Moldova in 2022: the collapse of hopes and plans, and the search for alternatives and opportunities

The cold snap that began in January could also be a factor in strengthening prices. Frosts always push up prices for all fruit and vegetables in winter, at least due to the migration of buyers from open markets-bazaars to heated stores. However, in the past few years, prices for goods in the fruit and vegetable departments of supermarkets outside the summer-autumn season are often comparable to or lower than the “bazaar” prices.

At the same time, according to some wholesalers, some of the Moldovan retail has switched to selling cheap Ukrainian potatoes since about October last year.

Summing up all the “pros” and “cons”, the operators of the fruit and vegetable market of Moldova tend to believe that the average level of the wholesale price for potatoes in the short term will rather decrease than increase. By the way, a similar picture was observed in January 2020.

EastFruit

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