The plum market is currently in a transitional phase: domestic products have ended and are only available on an isolated basis, which is why now the focus is on foreign growing regions. However, in the usual growing countries - mainly in the Balkans - only very few products are available. That's why Peter Timmer & Marco Henschke of Macoo LLC flew to Moldova on 26.09.2019 to inquire about the local cultivation and to secure goods before the imminent bottleneck on plums occurs.
Two days later, the management of the East German wholesale chain flew back with a secured capacity of 900,000 tons. Macoo purchases the goods from a producer cooperative in central Moldova or in the growing area around the capital Chişinău. "With this demand in this quality, we should be able to work without any problems until the beginning of November," says owner Marco Henschke.
Excellent coloration and firmness
At the same time as the end of the German season, there are Polish goods on offer every year. At the latest in week 42, the supply from local cultivation will come to an end. Serbia, Hungary and Macedonia will also end their campaign exceptionally early, so that traders have to find different sources, Henschke says about this year's market situation. "Even the German cooperatives have already expressed interest. That means that the stocks in the cold stores are almost gone as well."
The quality of Moldovan 'Stanley' products was excellent this year, says Henschke. "The coloration and firmness of the product is very good." In terms of price, the first lots will be at the level of the last German merchandise, Henschke expects. "Nevertheless, the Moldovan producers also know what the international offer looks like and I therefore anticipate price increases soon." In 2018, an average of between 1.30 and 1.50 euros was paid for foreign goods. This year is expected to start with wholesale prices of around €1.00.
Higher sales expected
In other years, Macoo has offered mainly Macedonian goods after the domestic season. By the end of the Macedonian season, however, they inevitably had to buy more quantities. "This year we wanted to avoid this situation and we saw the marketing possibilities for Moldovan plums early on. There are of course wholesale customers who will only trade in German products. On the other hand, there are also those who strike again right outside the domestic season. Therefore, I also believe that we will achieve higher sales than in previous years."