Opinion: a “window of opportunity” will open for Moldovan plum processors


Opinion: a “window of opportunity” will open for Moldovan plum processors

03.09.2020

Although the wholesale prices for plums in the Republic of Moldova have decreased by 1-2 lei / kg compared to the level of the beginning of August, the last two weeks have remained at the level of 5-7 lei / kg.

At the turn of summer and autumn in Moldova, for plum farmers, the situation looks good and encouraging, at least in the short term of the current season. Although the wholesale prices for plums have decreased compared to the level of early August by 1-2 lei / kg, over the past two weeks they have remained at the level of 5-7 lei / kg ($ 0.29-0.41 / kg, the most frequent “working” price – $ 0.36 / kg). And this is about 7-10% higher than the price level for the same period last year. The export of Moldovan plums to the Russian market has been active so far. Even to the European market, relatively large-scale supplies of plums from Moldova began in the second half of August – two to three weeks earlier than usual. All this is taking place in the context of the projected decline in the 2020 harvest of plums in Moldova (by about 20% compared to last year’s level of 109 thousand tons), as well as in the Russian Federation, some countries of Eastern Europe and the European Union. Consequently, it can be assumed that the share of dessert plums in the structure of the dwindling harvest will increase, while the technical one will decrease. However, some Moldovan converters hope that during a certain period of the season they will have the opportunity to purchase a sufficient amount of raw materials at an acceptable price for them.

They have several prerequisites for restrained optimism. First, there is a growing supply of local, relatively inexpensive plums on the Russian market, which is why the price level for these fruits on the Russian market in September may continue to decline. In this context, Moldovan traders also mention the feedback from their Russian partners about the reduction in the purchasing power of Russian consumers and the devaluation of the ruble. This means that it is possible that in September-October, the supply of Moldovan plums to Russia may decrease. Or Moldovan exporting traders will have to revise prices for this product downward.

Secondly, by and large there are no guarantees that even taking into account the increased duty-free quota for the export of Moldovan plums to the EU, the actual supplies of these fruits from Moldova to the EU this fall will exceed the historically established level (17-19 thousand tons) by tens of percent or even more so at times.

See also: Apricot has grown in price, while plums have fallen in price. Stone fruit market overview for the 35th week of 2020

Meanwhile, according to the observations of the operators of the Moldovan fruit market, Moldovan gardeners are currently actively putting plums for storage in refrigerators – because there is free refrigeration capacity and so far there has been good export dynamics. However, in the light of the above, in October-November a situation may arise in which the demand for dessert plums from exporters will fall, and refrigerators will have to be released for late grapes and apples.

It is at this moment that plum processors hope to enter the market with their own conditions. And they, apparently, will be tough: the purchase of raw materials in small batches, at a price not higher than 3-4 lei / kg ($ 0.17-0.23 / kg).

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