Despite the fact that the average wholesale price for early potatoes in Moldova has decreased by almost 30% in June, wholesale working prices remained within the range of 6-7 MDL/kg ($ 0.33-0.39/kg). At the end of June last year, wholesale early potatoes on the Moldovan market were sold cheaper – 5-6 MDL/kg ($ 0.28-0.34/kg).
It seems strange at first glance: 2020 was a year of extreme drought, and this year the weather conditions for potato harvest have been favourable so far, especially in some regions. That is, one could assume that given positive forecasts for the harvest in 2021, prices for potatoes will begin to decline in the beginning of June (as it was in 2020) and will fall below last year’s level for the same period.
In the opinion of potato farmers, two factors have turned the situation to their advantage. The first is the relatively late arrival of local early potatoes to the domestic market, where their supply is low and the demand is not fully satisfied. The second factor is relatively small imports. At the same time, an important category of importers, large supermarket chains, are still keeping prices for potatoes (as well as for almost any imported fruit and vegetables) at a relatively high level – significantly higher than the prices of wholesale and retail markets. Thanks to this, local vegetable growers could sell expensive potatoes grown in greenhouses and under agril at an affordable price with a profit.
However, potato growers believe that in a week or at most 10 days, the domestic fruit and vegetable market will be saturated and even abundant with open field potatoes. At the beginning of this week, in the markets of Chisinau, small potatoes from rural households and small farmers were available in small wholesalers and even retail at a price of 4-5 MDL/kg ($ 0.22-0.27/kg).
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