Experts from the various Moldovan table grapes associations have expressed the hope that this year’s weather will be more favourable than that of the previous two years. This will impact positively the quality of products, the volume and structure of their exports.
There are reasons for optimism: the situation in the fields (moisture reserves in the soil, development of bushes, phytosanitary background) in winter and March of this year was much better than a year earlier. Nevertheless, agronomists believe that this season, it makes sense to work “not for quantity, but for quality of production – this is the key to success.”
At first, last season seemed quite okay for Moldovan table grape growers. Due to the drought, the grape harvest amounted to only about 70,000 tons, the lowest number in the last five years. But at the same time, in the 2020-2021 season the production/exports ratio was better and prices were higher than in the 2019-2020 season. That meant that the average price of grapes for the 2020 harvest was about 11 MDL/kg ($ 0.65/kg), and for 2019 – about 8 MDL/kg ($ 0.47/kg). As a result, last year the quantity of exported table grapes decreased significantly, but the revenues almost remained at the level of the previous year: in 2020 – almost $27 million, in 2019 – about $29 million.
However, regarding the structure of Moldovan grape exports, the situation looks more tense. The export geography has narrowed – from 29 to 22 countries. The volumes of supplies to practically all “secondary markets” have decreased. The greatest decrease was observed in shipments to Belarus, Iraq, Romania and Ukraine.
In the short term, it makes sense for Moldovan table grape producers to focus on “fine-tuning” the quality of the main exported table grapes variety “Moldova”, by improving the sorting and packaging. At the same time, they should ensure its presence in traditional markets – the Russian Federation, Romania, Ukraine, Poland during the period of optimal freshness from October to December.