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Prices for walnuts in Moldova are declining due to low demand in the EU and Turkey

After a month of stability, price decline for wholesale walnut kernels resumed in Moldova. The prices dropped by an average of 10 MDL/kg ($0.55/kg) to 110 MDL/kg ($6.11/kg) last week. The average price is still higher than at the start of the season in October (100 MDL/kg, $5.65/kg), or in January last year (90 MDL/kg, $5.11/kg). It is worth considering that, firstly, the current reduction is influenced by a dynamic depreciation of the Moldovan leu against the dollar and the euro, which is unlikely to slow down or stop in the near future. Secondly, some operators of the local market do not rule out that the decline of walnut prices in MDL will continue in Moldova in January.

According to Moldovan traders, prices for walnut kernels fell due to almost zero demand from Turkish buyers (in the context of the lira devaluation), as well as buyers from some South European non-EU countries. Incidentally, prices for almonds, which are mainly exported to the Turkish market, are also decreasing in Moldova. In previous years, sales of low-quality walnut kernels to Turkey and the Balkans were important for Moldovan exporters at the end of the marketing season.

In addition, the “post-holiday” demand for Moldovan walnuts in the European Union in January 2022 has not yet revived either. There are chances for this – Moldovan traders claim that their European partners are dissatisfied with the “price/quality” ratio of American walnuts, which are currently entering the EU market.

For some growers that have small stocks of high-quality walnuts, the domestic market of Moldova has now become the main market for selling walnut kernels. Their retail (and small wholesale) price if delivered to the client, is almost twice higher than the price offered to farmers by exporters.

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