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Why is the plum price falling in Moldova?

The season for selling local plums on the Moldovan market in 2023 began in mid-July, about two weeks later than last year (which, in terms of weather conditions and fruit ripening, was close to the benchmark averages). The starting price level for these fruits was one of the highest in the five years – about 15 lei/kg ($0.83/kg) on average. A similar situation was observed only in 2019 when farmers asked for a high price for plums at the beginning of the season due to the large expected loss of fruit from frost. However, both then and now, high prices for early plums lasted only a short time. By the end of last week, the working wholesale price for plums in Chisinau fell below 7 lei/kg ($0.39/kg). According to EastFruit analysts, there are several reasons for this.

According to the experts of the Federation of Agricultural Producers of Moldova (FARM), high prices for the first plum are explained by the desire of horticultural farmers to exploit the “novelty effect.” The same was observed when the first batches of strawberries, raspberries, and cherries were brought to the Moldovan market. However, in the case of plums, farmers failed to keep high prices even for one week.

Firstly, early plums (varieties “Chachakskaya early,” “Peteshtyanka”, etc.) this year have an attractive appearance – large, well-colored, but with high acidity. Consumers quickly became convinced of this, and they did not like it.

Secondly, in July, too many alternative fruit products are presented on the Moldovan market, incl. stone fruits. And for the local summer plum, the most familiar sales period is August.

In addition, export sales still need to support prices for plums inside Moldova. Exports already exist, but the volumes are still small. Only small batches of Moldovan plums of early varieties go to the Russian and Belarusian markets and the best, but at minimal prices (due to the high exchange rate of the ruble). For export to Romania, the Moldovan plum is purchased only for processing (distillation) for 3-3.5 lei/kg ($0.17-0.19/kg). In principle, this level of prices for industrial plums can be considered quite good. But Romanian buyers are counting on buying plums with high sugar content, and there still needs to be more in Moldova.


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