Moldova to Export 720,000 Tons of Wheat
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The critical external market where Moldova can deliver their Wheat, Romania, is no longer certain because the Wheat that comes from Ukraine, is at a lower price than that of Moldovan Wheat. “If sales from Ukraine stop, prices will increase. In Romania, I went and signed a contract, but I didn’t fulfill it because we agreed to buy my Wheat for 310 dollars/ton (about 6 Moldovan lei per kilogram), but I got home, and they called to tell me that they cannot give me more than 290 dollars per ton”, said local farmer Nicolae Sprîncean.
I don’t want to sell Wheat for 4.8 lei per kg in the local market because it turns out that it is the same as the production cost, explained local farmer Sprîncean. He obtained a higher Wheat harvest, 4 tons per hectare, but his investment was also higher, about 20,000 lei/hectare. “I have 2,000 tons of Wheat stored. For some days, I sold for 5.1 lei/kg, today, it is 4.8 lei, and here I am returning a loan and walking around looking for money,” noted Sprîncean. In addition to the increase in the price of diesel and fertilizers, bank loans also became a real burden after the interest rate reached 18%.
Periodically, but usually in the fall, the Government announces auctions at which it purchases Wheat to renew the state reserve, an amount of Wheat stored in state warehouses that can be used in the event of a food crisis. This year, the Material Reserves Agency launched an auction to buy 41.7 thousand tons of food Wheat, and the starting price is still to be determined, according to Viaceslav Grigorita, the Head of the Policy Directorate in the plant sector within the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry.
The Ministry of Agriculture estimates an average yield of approximately 2.5 – 2.7 tons this year. “An initial forecast indicates a total harvest of 820,000 – 900,000 tons of Wheat, which is more than enough to ensure the food security of the Republic of Moldova and also represents an export potential,” said the Ministry official.
Due to the drought, the harvest per hectare is lower than the average for the last ten years, of 2.9 tons per hectare. And the total production, according to estimates, will be almost twice as low as in 2021, when a record amount of over 1.5 million tons of Wheat was harvested in the Republic of Moldova.
Moldovan Wheat Export
Moldova lifted its export ban for Wheat and flour in mid-2022 amid pressure from the approaching new harvest and protests by farmers demanding a chance to move out the old crop to free up storage facilities. The former Soviet republic imposed the ban on March 1 to guarantee enough domestic supply after Russia sent forces into Ukraine, which affected shipping via Moldova’s usual Black Sea export route by inflating freight costs.
Moldova’s exportable surplus in the 2022/23 July-June marketing season will total 720,000 tons of Wheat, including the new crop and the remaining stockpile, according to its local Association of grain exporters. The country exported 1.1 million tons of Wheat from August 2021-February 2022 to the Middle East and Africa. However, the actual amount of exports in the new season will depend on the availability of export routes.
Farmers in several regions of Moldova joined protests in June 2022, demanding the unblocking of exports before they start harvesting the new crop in coming days. They also asked the Government to help them boost railway supplies to Black Sea ports in neighboring Romania and Bulgaria. About 380,000 tons of milling Wheat from the new crop will be needed for domestic consumption this season. Moldova’s grain storage capacity is almost full, with 720,000 tons of Wheat, corn, and sunflower seeds.
Other sources: MOLDOVA
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