At the end of December 2020 compared to the same period last year, the most popular citrus fruits on the wholesale horticulture market in Moldova rose by an average of 14%. In particular, the average wholesale prices for oranges increased by 29% up to 18 lei/kg ($1.04/kg) and mandarins by 8% at 14 lei/kg ($0.84/kg). Bananas also rose in price by 6% at 18 lei/kg ($1.04/kg).
Attention is drawn to the fact that during the last ten days of December 2019, wholesale prices for citrus fruits and bananas decreased by an average of 1 lei/kg (about $0.06/kg). This year, the slow downward movement of prices was indicated only for some types of bananas.
Wholesale suppliers of citrus and exotic fruits explain the price increases in 2020 leading up to New Year’s is due to logistical difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as changes in the geography of imports. There is an increase in the share of products supplied from the EU countries of Spain and Greece. In addition, prices have been affected by the depreciation of the Moldovan leu against the euro since the second half of November.
Local fruit producers also noticed an atypical pre-holiday price increase for exotic fruits. In relation to this, some specialists from agricultural producer organizations suggested that this would serve as a short-term stimulus for increasing sales of Moldovan grapes and apples on the domestic market.
Unlike the citrus fruits, fresh vegetables purchased during this period for the holiday table fell in price by an average of 11%. Wholesale prices for cucumbers decreased the most by about 16% on average to the level of 21 lei/kg ($1.21/kg). Tomatoes fell by 5% to 18 lei/kg ($1.04/kg).
It is noteworthy that in 2019 before the winter holidays, cucumbers and tomatoes also fell significantly in price by 1-5 lei/kg ($0.06-0.3/kg). Nevertheless, the wholesale prices for these vegetables in the pre-New Year period last year were higher than this year.
Market operators believe that wholesale prices for tomatoes and cucumbers have decreased due to an increase in their imports from Turkey, which is the main supplier of vegetables to the Moldovan market during the winter season.
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