Last week in Moldova, the average wholesale prices for root vegetables increased by an average of 0.5 lei/kg. Potatoes and carrots were up to 3.5 lei/kg ($0.21/kg), and yellow onions up to 3 lei/kg ($0.18/kg). According to the operators of the country’s horticulture market, prices have increased mainly for high-quality products imported from the European Union by relatively large trading enterprises for supermarket chains. As a result, the maximum wholesale price for potatoes rose to 4.5 lei/kg ($0.27/kg), carrots to 4 lei/kg ($0.24/kg), and onions up to 3.5 lei/kg ($0.21/kg).
The rise in prices for “borscht set” vegetables (i.e., potatoes, carrots, onions, and beets) at the end of January was quite unexpected. Citing small and medium-sized traders, EastFruit recently reported that they entered the new 2021 with warehouses filled with unsold vegetables and that this winter their prices have dropped to their lowest level in the last three to four years. Taking this into account, the operators of the Moldovan fruit and vegetable market did not hope for an increase in prices for basic vegetables than early February.
Experts from agricultural producers organizations associate the unexpected increase in prices with the fact that, according to their observations, by the end of this month consumer demand for vegetables of the borsch set in Chisinau and some other large cities has slightly increased. At the same time, locals replenish their food stocks depleted during the holidays, mainly in shops and especially in supermarkets, where an assortment of washed vegetables in more or less high-quality packaging is almost constantly presented on the shelves.
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