Seed companies report a very weak demand for onion seeds this year. As a result, according to their estimates, the sowing of this important crop for the “borsch set” will decrease by about 40%. In the previous few years, the total area of onion plantations in Moldova was about 3.0-3.5 thousand hectares.
The main reason for the expected decrease in sowing, from the point of view of farmers, is the low wholesale price (on average, no more than 3 MDL/kg, $ 0.16/kg) and low demand for locally produced onions due to imports of similar high-quality and cheaper products from Ukraine, Belarus and the EU.
As a result, large quantity of unsold onion have accumulated in the warehouses of vegetable farms. Some farmers reported on social media that they distributed tons of onions for free, due to lack of demand from wholesalers in March.
Fruit and vegetable market operators note that farmers who grow onions on small areas – up to several hectares – find themselves in the most difficult situation. Due to the reorientation of these small-scale producers to other vegetable crops (mainly tomatoes, peppers, eggplants), the expected reduction in onion crops will take place in the country. While some large producers intend to slightly expand onion plantations – in the hope of increasing prices on the domestic market or even exporting (Moldova exported 5-6 thousand tons of onions per season to the Russian market in the middle of the last decade).
Anyway, experts believe that the return of onion prices “to the usual 4-5 MDL/kg” this autumn is quite possible.
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