CatzInfo – Dried Fruits

The terrorist attack at Istanbul airport was horrible and we would like to wish all involved and our Turkish partners strength. Many in our trade deal in Turkish products so it is likely most of us have more than once travelled through Atatürk airport and then it is coming close.

From a human point of view, obviously this made the Brexit for a few days less important. Nevertheless we shall have to cope with the leave-decision of the British. As we see it, on the short term, we do not foresee too much problems or changes apart from the weaker currency (and stockmarkets). On the long term, the people in the UK will continue to consume dried fruits and nuts and certainly when shipped directly from origin, we cannot see a threshold. For sure with the weaker English Pound, prices will be more expensive; on the other hand prices of for example sultanas, almonds and walnuts have dropped more than the rate of the Pound towards the dollar.
For time being also the euro weakened by 2 to 3% as a result of the Brexit, making imports also for the euro countries somewhat more expensive.

Another issue not directly connected to crops and markets is the issue of Chlorpyrifos. As in Brussels a transition period was blocked by 2 member states, the ‘logic’ consequence was the new MRL of 0,05ppm will be in force as of August 10th for all 28 countries. Luckily there was the opening, the national authorities were allowed to adopt a somewhat more flexible regulation – to offset the fact Brussels forgot the consequences for raisins setting a new MRL for grapes!! -. Each country has different implementations, but speaking for Holland, we appreciate the realistic approach from our authorities. Foodstuff produced with raisins as ingredient are still allowed beyond August 10th with a higher MRL of max 0,20 mg/kg (until December 2016), which is no problem for the product on the market as we have tested incoming goods and all well below this limit and even below the new regulation as from January 2017. For other countries we may well point to the national regulations or you can ask your national association or FRUCOM whether there is also a transition period applicable in your country.

 

Dried Fruits

 

Apricots

The harvesting has started in Turkey and the first new crop apricots are expected on the local market middle of July end first shipment second half of July. The average quality is good, though due to some hail damage there is also a substantial quantity of industrial quality available this year. The total crop will be well over 100.000 mtons. This figure was already known and taken into consideration in the actual lower market prices. We think current prices are realistic. An element to be mentioned: we must also take into account the recent approach of Turkish president to Russia may lift already within short the ban for Turkish product into Russia.

 

Apples

The Chinese supply is coming to an end and supply is limited for good quality apples.

 

Banana chips

Unchanged short supply of green bananas combined with heavy demand from Asian buyers. Most factories well booked and lead-time for new orders is a couple of weeks. Broken bananachips practically non existing.

 

Cranberries

Actually not much to report as prices moving sideways and supply is not a problem. Prices are on a bottom level and it is a matter of time prices will be lifted one way or the other, as more and more farmers cease farming cranberries, so supply will be adjusted to demand.

 

Pineapple/Papaya

After some optimism about the pineapple supply, latest reports show us a rather problematic situation for the procurement of raw material for the factories. Prices firming somewhat at the moment and we may well advise to have a look at your needs for the second half of this year.

 

Prunes

It is not a gamble to say prices for prunes will be structural firm for the coming year. Chile has a disappointing quantity available and prices have already increased quite a bit after the rains. On top California will have a dramatic crop this autumn, so 2 of the key suppliers will be short on supply. France is mainly focusing on the European market and ‘new’ sources like from South-East Europe do not have enough quantities to ease the market.

 

Raisins

The news from Brussels about Chlorpyrifos is not a total disaster for the Turkish shippers. The flexible approach by some countries to allow a temporarily higher MRL is welcomed and gives room for some additional sales. The new crop – complying to the low MRL – is looking good and prices from Turkey are very attractive at the moment, being cheaper than Iran. Most buyer have waited for a decision from Brussels, but now it is (for most countries) clear what will be the enforcement of the Regulation, positions will be taken. Obviously a strong demand will support the belief of the Turkish shippers they can increase their prices as there is no need any more to be the cheapest.

South Africa is sold and having problems to ship contracted quantities in time.

Chile is rather problematic, as the rains especially destroyed a larger part of the raisins suitable to make goldens. Shippers are cutting in the quantities contracted and defaults are actual. With both SA and Chile short of jumbo goldens, this will be a serious problem to obtain in the coming year.

 

Nuts

 

Walnuts

Demand is very slow for the Californian walnuts. On the other hand supply for light material is very limited, with prices substantially firmed, however buyers seem to be well covered. For darker (combo) material, prices plummeted but despite these attractive levels, demand is weak. Of course the expected record crop 2016 to come – 630.000 to 670.000 tons vs 600.000 this season – does not help to convince buyers to buy now.

Chile has also problem with the walnuts because of the already mentioned rains (see raisins) and especially the extra light halves are short. Shippers are renegotiating the quantities at best or some simply default. Prices increased by 20 to 30%.