Will potatoes rise in price in Moldova?
Judging by the EastFruit price monitoring, in Moldova, wholesale prices for potatoes of the 2021 harvest have been in the range of 2-3 lei / kg ($ 0.11-0.17 / kg) for the third week already. In dollar terms, this is the lowest potato price on the Moldovan market over the past three years.
Moreover, since this summer, the price of potatoes in Moldova is the lowest among the monitoring countries. Meanwhile, in the last two weeks, the trend of growth in wholesale prices for potatoes covers more and more countries – Russia, Belarus, then Uzbekistan. Will it spread to Moldova as well?
According to the operators of the Moldovan fruit and vegetable market, there is such a possibility, but it is unlikely that it will activate in the near future. On the one hand, some traders claim that in early September they started shipping potatoes to their longtime buyers in Romania. And since mid-September, these and other Moldovan traders have been exporting potatoes to Belarus (assuming that Russia becomes the final destination of the route of these products). Moreover, supplies to the Belarusian market are already calculated in many hundreds, and possibly even thousands of tons. Intensive export, logically, should in some future be converted into an increase in prices for potatoes on the domestic market of Moldova. In a country that used to be a large importer of this product for many years and in which the total agricultural area under potatoes has not grown this year.
See also: Domino effect: now potatoes have started to rise in price in Uzbekistan
At the same time, according to the heads of individual farms, they have been selling high-quality potatoes for a week on the domestic market for current consumption and, at least in some cases, for storage, at a price of 4 lei / kg ($ 0.22 / kg ). That is, local potatoes of low and medium quality are significantly more expensive than at the moment in Moldova.
But, on the other hand, according to potato growers, this year, due to specific weather conditions, the massive harvest of potatoes is lagging behind last year’s schedule. Some large farms have not even started digging potatoes yet. Moreover, the structure of the new harvest is dominated by products of low and medium quality; farmers prefer to sell them immediately after harvesting, preferably from the field. As a result, the supply of potatoes of the above quality is now high and, apparently, will remain so until the end of autumn – the beginning of winter. Obviously, this is not the best background for raising the average wholesale prices for local products – with the exception of high quality potatoes, as well as for expensive imports.