Moldova: apple exports to go down, sales for processing expected to grow
Moldovan apple market participants do not expect high quality of fruits this year. Thus, the supply of apples for processing will most likely grow, allowing growers to reduce pressure in the fresh market.
Orhei Vit expects the volumes of apples for processing to go up by 15-20% to 70,000 tons, and T.B. Fruit Moldova plans to almost double their apple processing volumes: from 82,000 tons in 2017 to 140,000 this year.
In 2017, apple production was not high in Moldova due to April frosts, but quality was relatively high. The situation in this season is different: apple yields are expected to grow year-over-year, while fruit size will most likely be lower due to drought.
In addition, Moldovan growers expect higher competition in the external market. Apple production volumes are forecast to return to their normal levels after a sharp fall in 2017. Thus, Moldova will have more difficulties in apple export, taking into account an expected decrease in fruit quality.
According to ANSA (National Food Safety Agency), about 50% of produced fruits were processed in Moldova last year, as well as about 12% of vegetables. In 2017 Moldovan canneries manufactured more than 35,000 tons of fruits and vegetables juices (inclusive of above 17,000 tons of concentrated ones) and 15,000 tons of canned fruits and vegetables. This year, Moldova is expected to harvest about 600,000 tons of fruits, inclusive of 150,000 tons of stonefruits and 450,000 of pomefruits.