CatzInfo – Dried Fruits

Due to the holiday period we have temporarily slowed down the frequency of our CatZinfo somewhat.

Unfortunately we must again mention again a catastrophic event; this time in Nice and our thoughts are with the people involved.
Also the situation in Turkey is dramatic and as this country is an important player in the agricultural scene, we will monitor the developments closely. We do not expect much change in the daily business, apart from the fact the Turkish Lira weakened substantially. Another development is the opening of talks between Turkey and Russia to allow again tourism and trading, which may open the market again for Turkish product on the Russian market. This might be a bullish element. The new crops are coming off the fields, started with the apricots in Turkey and will be followed shortly by the sultanas. Californian crops will be a little later. Most crops are looking good around the Mediterranean area, as well in California with the exception of the prunes. In general supply will not be a problem this coming period.

Dried Fruits

Apricots

The crop is heading way beyond the 100.000 mtons threshold and some mention even 120K. The quality looks good, though some recent, but temporarily rains have caused some damage, which however we believe will not be of much influence and is rather used as a ‘commercial’ element.
Prices remain so far pretty stable and the Turkish shippers are pretty confident they will be able to move the bigger part of the crop at current price levels. Most buyers have waited and saw prices for new crop dive below the last season’s prices, which does not make them rush covering. Consequently if these buyers come into the market we may see some firming of prices.

Apples

The Chinese shippers starting to find out the needs of the buyers for the new crop. First indications of prices are actually a prolongation of the current levels. Spot material is getting scarce.
Chile is sold out already with the crop 2016 apart from a ‘special’ parcel.

Banana chips

Prices continue to rise due to lack of raw material of green bananas and a serious demand from mainly the Asian and European markets. Broken bananachips are nearly exhausted and expected only be available as after Q3. Prices for brokens are similar to those for wholes.

Cranberries

This product remains attractively priced. It looks like we are still in an oversupply situation in spite of attempt to move more quantities at promotional prices and restricting the number of blogs.

Currants

In Greece the cheap prices for currants are history. There was less and less demand whereas the Greek – helped by the EU-subsidies – continued to produce currants. Now demand is picking up and some orchards being removed, we see prices increase. Another issue is of course the cheap price made currants popular above raisins and could be partly replaced in some recipes. Prices for new crop will be 20/25% above last season’s average price. As current crop is almost sold, price level for this material is alike the new crop quotations.

Pineapple/Papaya

Pineapple is slightly easier, but papaya remains firm and with the current longer lead time to produce and ship, we may see some shortages towards the end of the year.

Prunes

Chile is well sold and some sizes already out of stock. Especially the ‘medium’ sizes are hard to get. What is left is offered at stable prices as quantities of (very) small and larger sizes are well available. California still heading towards a disaster crop and they certainly will not be competitive for the European market, which may cause somewhat more pressure on Chilean and French origin.

Raisins

Now the Chlorpyrifos dossier has been more or less settled with a different approach by the national authorities (within the common market of the EU…..) we can focus on the new crop from Turkey. So far so good and the outlook for 300.000 + mtons seems to be good news for the buyers. Current crop is still available, but demand focusses mainly on the new crop.

Due to the Chlorpyrifos there was some panic whether the crop 2015 could be sold and prices dropped. Meanwhile the Turkish industry realizes they are the ‘cheapest’ for comparable qualities – i.c. Iran – so in spite of a big crop, they may go for uplifting the level for the coming season.
Due to Brexit and the weaker Pound, demand from the largest buying country of dried fruit in Turkey may diminish, though current attractive prices compensate this element.

South Africa being sold on both Thompson and Goldens, has caused a hectic trading in the second hand market for spot material. Especially goldens are hard to get.

California maintains the pricing for the Thompsons and seems not (yet) to take advantage of the South African scarcity.
Chile seems now really to have a problem with their crops. Especially the jumbo goldens are a headache as the rains during the drying have spoiled the usual good quality from this origin. Only a limited number of parcels, dried before the rains, are of an acceptable quality. Some shippers try to ship product of a disputable colour as well we doubt in such case about the shelf life as being too moist. For good quality a premium has to be paid.

For the jumbo flames the situation is not that tight, though also some damage occurred. Prices have risen since the rains but remain stable ever since.

Nuts

Walnuts

In California the crop is developing well and a record crop is expected. Both buyers and sellers are careful with regard to the new crop: buyers can wait in view of the expected size of the crop; sellers are careful as the hope the market will run empty.

In the actual situation we see light material has completely disappeared in California and we expect for this product a premium for the first shipment out of new crop to fill the pipeline again. This may take up to the end of the year, so we may well recommend you to have a look at your needs till end December (for ‘light”)! Contrary left material is mainly combo and darker and is selling at almost any price.

Chile is sold for the light material and many shippers are renegotiating the quantities (and sometimes prices….) as there is simply not enough light material. The alternative of ‘yellow’ material seems to us a dangerous one with regard to the shelf life in view of moisture.