CatZinfo – Dried Fruits & Nuts
Though many of our trade will be in hot Chennai at the INC-meeting and perhaps in vain longing for a fresh cold beer, business these days was active. Interest for the new crops is substantial and buyers looking to cover their positions till the end of the year.
Most crops are still looking good, but this has already been translated in somewhat easier prices for these products (i.e. apricots, sultanas).
Never a dull moment with Mr. Trump, which is having its effects also on the strength of the dollar, which lost ground a.o. towards the euro with about 3% in the last weeks. Of course for imports of dried fruits and nuts – mainly in dollars – a welcome support.
Now the Turkish crop is safe as far as frost is concerned, we see attractive levels for the new crop offers. But as usual there are some ‘if’s’ and ‘but’s’. Shippers have sold already some quantities and holding back now, as the huge crop which is expected will mean also lots of small fruit (typical for big crops). So certainly for big sizes (Nr 1,2 and 3) it may be dangerous to make contracts as these might do some additional premium when more scarce. Also if the average size will be Nr. 5 or 6, even the popular size Nr. 4 might be more expensive than expected. Even more shippers refuse to quote ‘natural’ apricots as farmers prefer to sulpher as much as possible to have the possibility to keep their stocks healthy into the 2018 crop if prices run too low. As a result we see prices not declining any further and it might be a good idea to take some partial covering for the new crop.
No surprises: the Chinese stocks are low and prices are increasing every week. Most shippers are sold. We expect we will see the consequences to show up in the summer, so will see again some tight positions towards the arrival of the new crop in October. Shipments of the new crop from Chile are about to be shipped and are a welcome replenishment on a rather empty market for this product in Europe.
Prices in the Philippines for bananachips are again a little easier. Nevertheless the situation in Europe is still more difficult, with low stock positions. These positions are taken at higher levels and buyers do not feel the need yet to sell out cheap as long as demand on the spot is exceeding supply/stocks.
South Africa is more or less sold as being the cheaper alternative for the Greek currants. The latter ones are now virtually sold and last loads changed hand at higher levels. With new crop currants only available somewhere in September, there are still a couple of months to bridge. On the other hand the summer in not a typical ‘currant period’, but for sure the Greek exporters know the new crop 2017 will ‘fall’ in an empty market……..
Prices remain rather unchanged for pineapple and papaya. Season is over and new crops will be available in October, but no shortages foreseen.
The season for mango is over and prices have increased considerably with product being scarce. Strong demand for ginger is also triggering prices.
In Chile the first ‘sold’ signs for some sizes have been reported. Especially the medium sizes are getting scarce. Prices are gradually firming, which is quite early, taking into account the next crop will arrive in Europe only in April/May next year. As reported before the Californian prices are still that high, these do not have influence on the European market for prunes.
The Turkish sultana industry is heading again for a good crop. Obviously with two good crops on a row, prices have dropped and are meanwhile on very attractive levels. There is already some interest for the new crop offers, as there is hardly a downside at today’s prices.
Iran is following the Turkish prices but – also for currency reasons – cannot fully compete as prices are more expensive.
California finally is succeeding to lift its prices. All shippers have raised their prices by 5 to 10% and selling.
Consequently somewhat more interest for the South African Thompson, which were competitively priced. South African exporters are relaxed and feel they will be comfortably sold in the coming weeks and gradually increasing their prices. Chile is still having their (jumbo) Thompsons and Flames for sale. Demand however is rather dull. Only ‘problem’ are the jumbo goldens which are really scarce and quite expensive.
California is close to be sold for the higher end qualities. However also demand is somewhat sluggish at this moment so prices are moving side ways. Finding light material is becoming rather difficult and apart from an odd container, most shippers do not offer. I t is difficult to find out whether they ‘sit’ on some stocks aiming for higher prices, or they are really sold. In the last case we may see some bottlenecks on the spot market in Europe in autumn.
Supply from Eastern Europe seems to have vanished and there is hardly any product offered out.
Chile is doing well: selling out their top products at premium prices with only limited quantities left.