According to Ion Kilianu, head of Codru ST (Straseni), the firm plans to enter export markets, namely the Middle East and Russia, in late December and/or early January. These shipments will consist of high quality apples sorted and packed in modern packaging formats under its own brand “Codru”. However, to date, the company has not signed any big contracts for the supply of these products.
For now, the company has put about 5 thousand tons of eight varieties of apples in cold storage, including Idared, Rennet Simirenko, Mutsu and Gala. The quality of the products, according to experts, is high. They point out that the quality of an apple is determined not so much by the storage conditions in the cold chamber as by the growing and harvesting technologies employed. Codru ST has about 500 hectares of orchards and vineyards at its disposal, and grows mainly apples, plums and table grapes. Another 500 hectares of land are devoted to grain and oilseeds, and it also runs its own nursery. All agricultural production is certified by the Global GAP standard.
According to representatives of large horticultural enterprises of Moldova, mass deliveries of apples to the main export market (Russia) are likely to be delayed from November to December 2018 or even January 2019. Moldovan exporters hope that by that time, the stocks of apples from China and the countries in the Southern Hemisphere, such as South Africa, Chile and others, will have run out on the Russian market.
However, EastFruit analysts believe that these hopes are groundless, as the countries of the Southern Hemisphere stop supplying apples to Russia in August-September, with the start of harvesting in Moldova and resume them in March-April, when they start harvesting. China, on the contrary, supplies the largest volumes of apples to Russia from December to May.
Moldovan suppliers hope that they will be able to sell a high-quality apple to Russia in modern packaging at a price of at least 8 lei / kg ($ 0.52 / kg) in the winter. Last season, during this period, the apples exported reached an average price of 12 lei / kg ($ 0.79 / kg).
However, last season, the European apple production was burdened by the impact of spring frosts, while this year's production volumes have broken all records. Therefore, according to analysts from EastFruit, producers from Moldova should step up right now. Otherwise, in March-April, apple prices may turn out to be even lower.