As EastFruit price monitoring shows, prices for carrots have been rising on the Moldovan fruit and vegetable market for two weeks in a row now. After a slight and short decline caused by a reduction in consumer demand for all vegetables of the so called “borscht set” (potatoes, carrots, beetroots, onions and cabbage) in the post-holiday period, the average wholesale price for carrots increased by 12-13% over the week and actually returned to a relatively high December level of around 8 MDL/kg (US $0.42/kg). At the same moment in January 2022 and 2021, carrots in Moldova were significantly cheaper both in MDL and in US dollars – $0.39/kg and $0.20/kg, respectively.
Market players assume that, at least until the beginning of February 2023, the strengthening of prices for carrots will continue. According to them, seasonal price support factors include the stock depletion and not only in low-commodity farms, but also in large specialized agricultural enterprises and by migration of buyers from the open markets or bazaars to the fruit and vegetable departments of supermarkets due to freezing outside temperatures. The season increase in consumption in this period of year is yet another factor supporting the price.
In 2022 Moldovan vegetable farmers retained the area under carrots. Unlike the onions, which were actively exported to the Ukrainian market in 2022, exports of carrots from Moldova were relatively low. Farmers preferred to save carrots for measured sales in the domestic market. In the absence of an excess supply of local and lack of imports, prices for carrots in the country remained at a relatively high level for almost the entire autumn and the first month of winter.
At the end of January 2023 and probably in February, when supply of local carrots will decrease, the volumes of carrot imports to Moldova are unlikely to grow significantly. In Ukraine, which before the way and occupation by Russian military of the southern regions, used to be a major supplier of vegetables to Moldova, the average wholesale price for carrots is close to US $0.55/kg – 31% higher than in Moldova. In Poland, another major exporter, carrots are only slightly cheaper than in Moldova and sell for US $0.39/kg.
It is quite possible that Moldovan supermarkets will need external supplies of high-quality European carrots in February 2023, but given the expensive logistics, this product is likely to rise in price supporting also prices for the local produce.
For more information: east-fruit.com