Moldovan apples export – structural reforms needed
Fresh apples are among the top 10 export products of Moldova. Traditionally, the largest part of Moldova’s apples export has been going to Russia – above 90% of apples exports in 2020. In the first half of 2021 however, apples exports to Russia dropped by substantial 31% yoy.
Many have blamed this on the introduction of Russian import duties on agricultural products, including apples, in April 2021. However, this is not the whole story. Our analysis, based on trade data and interviews of key stakeholders from the industry, revealed that the Moldovan apples market faces several structural challenges. These include changes in demand from the Russian market as well as several aspects related to product quality, which impede access to other markets.
Furthermore, we find that there are no attractive short-term solutions for Moldova to mitigate the Russian demand shock. In the medium- to long-term, investments and structural reforms in the Moldovan apples market are needed.