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Country Briefs

  Republic of Moldova

Reference Date: 28-November-2022


  1. Record low cereal production obtained in 2022

  2. Total cereal exports in 2022/23 forecast well below average

  3. Wheat flour and potato prices well above year‑earlier levels

  4. Yearly Gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast to stagnate in 2022

Record low cereal production obtained in 2022

Harvesting of the 2022 winter cereal crops, mainly wheat, finalized last August, while harvesting of spring crops, mainly maize, was concluded by late November. A severe drought affected crop yields in the 2021/22 season. In addition, very high fertilizer and fuel prices constrained farmers’ access to agricultural inputs, with a reduction of fertilizer application rates and a negative impact on yields.

According to a Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission (CFSAM) carried out by FAO, upon request by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry ( full report ), the 2022 aggregate cereal output is estimated at about 1.8 million tonnes, 46 percent below the five‑year average level and the lowest volume on record. Wheat output is set at 872 000 tonnes, over 20 percent below average, and production of maize is estimated at 761 000 tonnes, 60 percent below the average level. In addition, production of sunflower seed, a key export commodity for the country, and of potatoes, an important staple food, are set at 579 000 tonnes and 133 600 tonnes, respectively, both about 25 percent below average.

Planting of the 2023 winter cereal crops took place in October. Near‑average rainfall amounts in August and September 2022 partially restored moisture reserves in the arable layer of the soil, but severe moisture deficits persisted, as of October, in the lower soil layers, with likely adverse effects on the start of the 2022/23 cropping season.

Total cereal exports in 2022/23 forecast well below average

Total cereal exports in the 2022/23 marketing year (July/June) are forecast at about 400 000 tonnes, 70 percent below the five‑year average volume as a consequence of the very low harvest obtained in 2022. The forecast includes well below‑average levels of 95 000 tonnes of maize and 290 000 tonnes of wheat, mostly drawing from remaining stocks of the 2021 bumper outputs.

Wheat flour and potatoes prices well above year earlier levels

Although domestic wheat production is adequate to cover the country’s needs, some small volumes are imported, mainly from Ukraine, to improve the quality of locally produced wheat flour (for bread preparation).

The national average retail prices of wheat flour increased slightly between January 2021 and February 2022 as ample supplies from the bumper 2021 harvest offset the upward pressure exerted by increasing production and transportation costs. Between March and July 2022, prices rose by about 10 percent as the reduced domestic wheat output and import disruptions due to the war in Ukraine, raised concerns about shortages of wheat flour. In August and September 2022, wheat flour prices remained overall stable at levels about 30 percent higher than a year earlier.

The national average retail prices of potatoes rose sharply between September 2021 and May 2022, in line with seasonal trends. Prices were stable in June and declined from July onwards. Potatoes are mostly produced in northern Briceni District and are transported to the rest of the country. The reduced domestic production in 2022 and high transportation costs exerted strong upward pressure on prices, which, in September 2022, were almost twice higher than the same month in 2021.

Yearly Gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast to stagnate in 2022

In 2021, the GDP is estimated to have increased by 13.9 percent, mainly driven by investments and private consumption stimulated by high wages, social transfers, remittances and a bumper harvest. In 2022, economic growth is expected to stagnate, due to high inflation, trade disruptions (especially exports of agrifood products), high budgetary costs to support Ukrainian refugees fleeing from the war-affected areas as well as a declining flow of remittances from Ukraine and the Russian Federation, dampening consumer incomes and spending. As of mid‑November, about 96 000 Ukrainian refugees were present in the country (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees [ UNHCR ]), sheltering in Refugee Accommodation Centres (RAC), rented accommodations or with friends and relatives.

The National Bureau of Statistics reported that the general annual inflation was 34.6 percent in October 2022, almost 26 percentage points higher than the rate of 12 months before, mostly reflecting high food and energy prices. Food inflation was estimated at 36.2 percent, well above the 12.7 percent registered in October 2021.

Disclaimer: The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.