According EastFruit analysts, in January 2023, the weighted average wholesale price for high-quality apples of Gala variety increased only slightly – by about 0.5 MDL/kg (US $0.02/kg). So far, the increase does not reach the price level that is comfortable for the agricultural producers, which, according to them should be close to 9.0-9.5 MDL/kg or US $0.48-0.51 per kg. However, the demand for these export quality apples in Moldova remains rather low at the moment.
EastFruit weekly price monitoring shows that the average wholesale price for the Gala apples in Moldova remained at around 7.0 MDL/kg (US $0.37/kg) for almost the entire month. Only in mid-January 2023 a small price increase which coincides in time with a slight increase in the price of the Gala apple on the Russian market. It is likely that these two factors are interrelated.
Despite the ban on exports of fruits and vegetables from Moldova imposed by Russians in 2022, apples from Moldova are still actively exported to the Russian market. Moreover, Russia still is the #1 export destination for Moldova’s apples even if they have to go via intermediaries.
Market players expected that exports of apples from Moldova to Romania would speed up in January but it has not yet happened. In this regard traders note that the relatively inexpensive Polish Gala is still present on the Romanian market, although the wholesale price for this product is slowly growing. Some buyers in Romania are ready to increase their purchases of Moldovan Gala apples, as well as some other varieties such as Golden Delicious at a price comparable to the price of Polish apples, if they are at least not inferior in quality.
Consequently, while Moldovan farmers are expecting a significant price increase, market suggests that their apples are already overpriced. Moreover, there are not many high-quality apples of these varieties on the market of Moldova as local production quality was always oriented towards very low standards of the Russian market and they do not comply with standards observed in the EU.
Moldova reportedly still has rather significant stocks of Red Chief, Braeburn and Fuji apples, but the demand for these varieties in Romania is not very high.
For more information: east-fruit.com