Wholesale prices for walnuts in Moldova increased last week. Prices for products of the highest quality category, namely light halves of nut kernels and large nuts in shells, raised the most: by about 5 lei/kg ($ 0.29 / kg). In fact, after two weeks of decline, prices for these products returned to a relatively high level in the second half of November, when the maximum price for in-shell nuts was 35 lei/kg ($ 2.02 / kg), and for light halves of nut kernels – 100 lei/kg ($ 5.78 / kg).
Representatives of the Union of Associations of Moldova Walnut Crops Producers believe that the increase in prices was three main reasons. The first and foremost is the traditional increase in market activity before the Catholic Christmas. The second reason is the reduction in walnuts’ stocks, which the largest exporting traders formed during intensive purchases of these products in the second half of October – the first half of November. At the same time, the supply of products in December is not large. This year, large walnut farms have collected low harvest, but the quality of the products is relatively high (during the harvesting period, there was no rain and no increased risk of kernels darkening). Consequently, in agricultural enterprises with good storage facilities, a sufficiently high-quality nut can be stored without a significant decrease in quality until spring.
The third reason for the increase in prices for export walnuts is the national currency’s devaluation. The bulk of Moldovan walnuts are exported to the European Union, and transactions are made in euros. At the same time, in December, the euro in the country increased against the Moldovan leu. As a result, against the weak supply of products and high inflationary expectations, walnut suppliers are forced to raise purchase prices for export-quality products.
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