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Moldovan grapes are fetching high prices in Baku supermarket

The chairman of the Association of Grape Producers and Exporters of the Republic of Moldova, Gheorghe Gaber, shared the good news on his Facebook page: Moldovan grapes of the “Moldova” variety are presented in the Bolmart supermarket chain in Baku in January. They are packaged in plastic trays and flow-packs, and the retail price is quite high – 5.3 AZN/kg, which is equivalent to 59 MDL/kg ($3/kg).

Nevertheless, according to the employees of the supermarket in the center of the capital of Azerbaijan, Moldova grapes are well known to buyers and are in high demand.

Azerbaijan has been a relatively small (importing a few hundred tonnes per season) but stable market for suppliers of Moldova grapes for many years. As in many other eastern markets (Kazakhstan, Mongolia, etc.), the demand increases in November and is relatively high throughout the winter.

EastFruit earlier reported that about 12 000 tonnes of table grapes were exported from the country in December 2022. This is unexpectedly high, given the intensive exports in November of almost 15 000 tonnes. In total, more than 47 000 tonnes of grapes from the 2022 crop were exported last year (including the production of summer varieties). However, due to the Russian embargo and the rise in energy prices, there weren’t many grapes from the 2022 harvest for sale in autumn-winter. According to expert estimates, a maximum of 1 000-2 000 tonnes of grapes from the last year’s harvest remained in storage in January 2023 (in usual marketing seasons, commodity balances at the beginning of the year are not lower than 5 000-7 000 tonnes).

Only a small part of these grapes is of export quality. However, according to traders, wholesale prices for high-quality “Moldova” in mid-January in the domestic market rose to 15-17 MDL/kg ($0.78-0.88/kg). Meanwhile, the average price for “Moldova” grapes of average quality sold in local retail is no more than 14 MDL/kg ($0.73/kg).

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