At the end of last week night temperature dropped to -1-3 degrees Celsius in the Republic of Moldova. This not only led to the rapid wilting of the leaves in the vineyards, but also to the darkening of the pedicel of the main late grape variety “Moldova”. This is an important marker for buyers: a brown dry twig of table grape bunches is perceived as an indicator of not fresh table grapes, even if berries look dense and their skin is whole and smooth. As a result, under certain circumstances (for example, in case of a sharp drop in demand from external buyers), the wholesale price for table grapes with a dark pedicel may drop significantly in the near future.
Earlier EastFruit reported that peak mass harvesting of Moldova grapes in the country started in early October. Traders/exporters offered (excluding the price of the box) 8-11 MDL/kg ($0.45-0.62/kg) for them last week. This in dollar terms corresponds to the range of wholesale prices for Moldova grapes in late September – early October last year.
However, until now, only vineyards of the Moldova variety in the lowlands have only slightly suffered from early autumn frosts. The vineyards on the slopes and tops of the hills survived well, except for the leaves on the tops of bushes turning yellow due to the drop in temperature. Because of this the growers did not start peak harvesting, hoping that in mild weather conditions berries would gain sugar content. Some experts did not agree with this and recommended accelerating the harvesting and marketing of Moldova grapes.
The relevance of this advice is now evident. Moreover, according to the weather forecasts, it will rain in at least some regions of Moldova in the coming days. Taking this into account, a situation may well arise in which a part of the vineyards in the central regions of the country will prefer not to invest in a thorough harvesting/sorting of Moldova table grapes, but to sell them to wineries for processing. Moreover, some of them set a rather high purchase price for substandard (for the fresh market) table grapes – up to 5 MDL/kg ($0.28/kg) at the beginning of harvesting.
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