According to EastFruit analysts, in the recent 10 days wholesale prices for table grapes of all kinds in Moldova increased by 1-2 MDL per kg ($US 0.05-0.10/kg) or by 5-7%. Consequently, the export price of Moldova variety grapes is record high for this period, despite the export ban for Moldovan grapes by Russia and an increased production.
What drives the prices of table grapes up? Let’s look at the situation more closely.
Total production of table grapes in Moldova in 2022 was estimated at around 100,000 tons, around 20% up from the rather poor harvest of 2021. Nevertheless, due to a rapid increase in energy prices, farmers decided to store much smaller volumes of grapes than in 2021 – only around 20-25 thousand tons compared to around 40 thousand tons stored a year ago.
Consequently, higher volumes of grapes ended up being exported earlier than usually although at a lower price. As we could see from the chart above, prices of Moldova variety grapes, the main variety grown in the country, remained record low from the start of the harvesting campaign until the middle of December 2022, confirming a more rapid pace of sales.
As we reported earlier, Moldova exported unusually high volumes of table grapes in each month since the harvest begun in September. In December exports reached 12 000 tons, in November – almost 15 000 tons and about 20 000 tons in September-October 2022. In total, more than 47 000 tons of grapes ended up being exported before the new year.
Thus, at the end of January 2023 local stocks of grapes in Moldova are unusually low and imports of grapes from Turkey are coming to the Moldovan markets. Presently mostly only cheapest Turkish grapes make it to the market of Moldova but even these grapes are already pricier than the local fruits. Thus, we expect that local prices will continue growing, forcing local producers and farmers’ coops who still have grapes in stocks to consider selling them locally instead of exporting.
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