Abnormally low potato prices in Moldova this season have made this country, which is usually a net importer of potatoes, a significant exporter in September-October 2021, says EastFruit, an information and analytics platform for the growth of the horticulture business in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Caucasus. According to the source, the first batch of Moldovan potatoes was recently exported to North Macedonia, IPN reports.
This is not the first surprise of the season on the potato market in Moldova. Earlier, EastFruit has repeatedly written about the rather striking supplies of Moldovan potatoes to Russia and Belarus when they are harvesting themselves and prices in their markets are usually the lowest! Moreover, both Belarus and Russia used to export potatoes to Moldova.
The EastFruit wholesale price monitoring explains the reasons for such a sharp market change: potatoes in Moldova are still the cheapest in the region. Even despite the rapid rise in prices in mid-October, wholesale potato prices in Moldova are lower than in Poland. Potatoes in Belarus now cost two times and in Russia almost three times as much as in Moldova!
However, potato prices in North Macedonia were even higher than in Russia. Therefore, it is possible that this delivery will not be the only one. In general, potato prices in the Balkan countries are quite high this season.
It is notable that many market participants believe that potato prices in Moldova will continue to grow in the near future, and there may not be enough potatoes to meet domestic needs in the second half of the season. This is due to the capacities and technologies for storing potatoes not being fully developed in the country. In recent years, low potato prices in Moldova have been maintained by the supply of excess potatoes from the EU. However, this is not expected in the 2021/22 season, said EastFruit.