The quality of “Moldova” table grapes in Chisinau retail stores is noticeably degrading in November. You can still find high-quality Moldova grapes in retail markets in the capital, but the price difference between them and average-quality grapes in stores reaches 4-6 MDL/kg ($0.20-0.31/kg). There is still a large volume of high-quality “Moldova” in the center and south of the country but only in the markets, not in stores.
According to EastFruit experts, the main quality issue of “Moldova” in the second half of November is that juice is literally leaking out of grapes. In the heat and in bright artificial light on the shelves of supermarkets this is especially noticeable.
According to representatives of winegrowers’ associations, the main reason is poor protection of vineyards from diseases and pests (leaf rolling) at the final stage of crop ripening. Growers that identified the problem in time and paid due attention to its elimination received a high-quality crop that is well stored and retains a good appearance during the sales. But when wine growers decided to save money on the sanitation of plantations shortly before harvesting, the quality of grapes, which seemed acceptable a few weeks ago, decreased in the second half of this month.
Probably, this contributed to the growth rate of wholesale prices for Moldova grapes in the domestic market of the country slowing down. The average price in the second week of November increased by 2 MDL/kg, but in the third week of the month it increased only by 1 MDL up to 11 MDL/kg ($0.55/kg). That is, the average wholesale price for “Moldova” almost caught up with the price level in November of problematic 2022, but is still lower than at the end of November last year – 13 MDL/kg ($ 0.74/kg). Given the declining quality and effective consumer demand (in the domestic market), the prospects for further growth in wholesale prices for the “Moldova” of 2022 harvest are doubtful.
Traders argue that there is no significant difference between grapes on the domestic market and those exported. In their opinion, the differences lie mainly in the accuracy of the goods handling during their retail sales.
Market operators also claim that given the small commodity resource in October-December (earlier, association specialists estimated it at only 20 000 tonnes, which is half the volume of last year), the season of mass sales of Moldova grapes of the 2022 harvest will end by mid-December, and not by the end of the month, as in harvest years with open access to traditional markets.
For more information: east-fruit.com