Only wholesale prices of the cheapest apple varieties, Idared, Renet Simirenko and some others, have increased by 8-10% in the first half of February compared to January on the Moldovan market. Prices for apples of more expensive varieties have almost not changed over a month – since the second half of January, EastFruit analysts report. At the moment, the difference in price for the best “Idared”, and, for example, apples of “Gala”, “Golden Delicious”, “Granny Smith” clones of average quality is no more than 1-2 MDL/kg ($0.05-0.1/kg). What are the reasons for this?
Fruit market players note that agricultural producers and trading companies send most of the Moldovan apples of premium varieties and high quality directly to supermarket chains in Russia, or to traders supplying these chains. Apples are delivered under long-term contracts, and purchase prices are relatively stable, “rarely changing from week to week.” At the same time, competition in Russian chain retail is quite high. Moldovan apples compete with apples from Turkey, European “re-exports” and Russian apples of expensive varieties in Russian supermarkets in winter. The availability of alternatives does not allow Moldovan suppliers to raise prices. In their words, “you have to be content with little in order to maintain relatively high export volumes.”
Moldovan “Idared” and apples of other old varieties are purchased mainly by suppliers of wholesale and retail bazaars and shops of the “economy” segment in Russia. There are no apples of cheap varieties of local production on the Russian market now, or they are not enough to cover the demand of the low-income population. The legal alternative, excluding re-exports from Poland and Ukraine, is only cheap apples from Iran and Moldova.
It should be taken into account that the average wholesale price for “Idared” on the Russian market is almost twice as high as the wholesale price for apples of this and other old varieties on the Moldovan fruit market. Obviously, this price difference opens up a wider “window of opportunity” for Moldovan traders. Apples of expensive varieties are exported to the Russian market in a moderate planned manner established by supermarket buyers.
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