The average wholesale price for this year’s potatoes has been relatively stable on the Moldovan market for the fourth week. The price decreased by about 13% over 4 weeks – to 9 MDL/kg ($0.47/kg) on average. At the same time, the levels of the average starting and current wholesale prices in 2022 are the highest in the five years, EastFruit analysts say.
The relative stability of the wholesale price of potatoes looks unusual if we consider the significant fluctuations in retail prices from week to week, as well as on weekdays and weekends in city markets, street vendors and boutiques – 6-15 MDL/kg ($0.31-0.78/kg). Retailers attribute the situation, firstly, to the abrupt demand for potatoes from household consumers, and secondly, to a very heterogeneous product quality.
Wholesalers claim that prices for high-quality new potatoes are kept at a relatively high level due to the growing demand from HoReCa and, especially, supermarket chains. Many of them switched from Macedonian and Greek potatoes to Moldovan ones in the second half of June. Moreover, potatoes are one of the few goods in the fruit and vegetable departments of supermarkets, the quality of which is comparable or exceeds the quality in markets.
In addition, according to experts from fruit growing organizations, the relatively high prices for potatoes this summer result from the reduction in plantations area (by about 2 000 ha – up to 16 000-17 000 ha), as well as the increase in the costs of potato growers, especially for water, fertilizers and energy. Obviously, the hot weather without precipitation for almost a month and the absence of exports, in contrast to some previous seasons, are not helping to change the situation.
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