CatZinfo – Dried Fruits & Nuts

Due to (early) holidays we have skipped one issue of our CatZinfo, but we are back on track from now on.

In the summer months trading activities are normally a little less active, but these days we have to go full throttle. We see active buying interest for the coming Mediterranean crop, where first indications based on good crops were very attractive. Consequently buyers were waiting. However – as usual – the crops are not as perfect as we had hoped for and also farmers/exporters are looking for arguments to increase prices – as usual….  -. We therefor do see prices f.e. for apricots and sultanas increase gradually and we seem to have left the bottom. Under same perception buyers have waited buying and hence need some additional spot material.

Fortunately the dollar is somewhat weaker and declined during this week by about 2% towards the euro.

From Brussels we got final news the sultanas from Turkey and Iran are subject to a control frequency of 5% for Ochratoxin A and Turkish apricots increased from 10 to 20% for sulphites.

Dried Fruits

 

Apricots

We have left the dangerous period for night frost behind us. Actually it is very hot and the coming days temperatures up to 40 degrees are predicted. The expected crop figure stands still at around 165K tons, which is long ago we have seen such yield. This is the good news, as we have to do some finetuning. A big crop means usually small sized fruits, so a premium shall have to be paid for the bigger sizes. Small sizes and industrial will be traded substantially cheaper. Rains and hail in the early stage of development of the crop have caused substantial damage to the fruit (speckled). Therefor we see at the moment prices increasing, as the lower prices we have seen were in anticipation of just a good crop. For good quality product the supply might not be that abundant, so farmers and exporters will ask higher prices. Also the current stocks are in the hand of speculators and they keep them away from the market, to create scarcity and drive prices up. In combination with the traditional higher demand for first shipments – in time for the seasonal sales end 2017 – we do not foresee a downward movement at the beginning of the season.

Apples The supply situation both in China and Europe is becoming tight for especially quarters and rings. China practically sold and supply could not meet demand this year, so prices are firming both in origin as for spot positions. New crop from China will not be available before Oct/Nov. Chile is becoming less and less important as most producers abstain for producing special product (below 60ppm SO²) at low prices as buyers point at the Chinese levels.

Banana chips

The prices for bananachips have firmed quite a bit. Less than expected supply of the green bananas in combination with higher priced coconut oil for frying caused a jump of 15/20% in pricing. As 2 months ago the market came down, most buyers bought hand-to-mouth and consequently the stocks are running low. We expect some bottlenecks in supply the coming months and obviously higher prices.

Currants

Too early to report about the directions of the crop 2017. The Greek farmers and exporters are comfortably well sold and left overs are sold at premium levels. Also South Africa now close to sold.

Pineapple/Papaya

Most prices moving sideways. In Thailand supply for pineapple and papaya is sufficient, but demand is also substantial, so factories have well filled orderbooks. Shortage reported on coconut products and ginger.

Prunes

The prices for prune from Chile are definitely on the rise. Larger sized fruits is becoming scarce and exporters increasing prices. With hardly no competition from California or other sources, Chile is ruling the market.

Raisins South Africa is steadily selling out and shippers warn they will be sold within short. Prices are still unchanged compared with opening prices, as still there are for most varieties unsold quantities available. Chile is having – apart from jumbo goldens – sufficient material for most common products like Thompson, Crimson and Flames.

Turkey is heading for a somewhat smaller crop in sultanas, but together with the expected carry-out of roughly 30/40K will have a total supply well over 300K, which is still a quantity to move only at decent prices. Nevertheless prices have left the lower levels of about 1 month ago, as farmers and other stock keepers are withholding their sultans from the market.

Iran is the unknown factor, but is meanwhile competitive to Turkey.

Prices in California are as well increasing at the moment as the industry has sold well and expect the carry-out will be easy to handle. Increase of prices by 5 to 10% since one month.

Nuts

Walnuts Stocks in California are running low, especially for light material. Several shippers are done for the season already and those having product bringing walnuts only container wise to the market at increasing prices for prompt shipments. On the other hand new crop is looking good, though the high temperatures may cause the quality to be darker than average for the coming season. We may therefor see a relatively firmer market for light material. Also the fact the pipeline will be close to empty in the transition to the new crop, will put some pressure on the market, with premiums for the first shipments. We see some speculative new crop offers somewhat lower than for current crop, but for reasons as explained may not see a drop as most buyers expected in view of the expected record crop.

Chile has still some light material available and some shippers selling out with some slight discount for shipments during our summer. First arrivals of the new crop are coming in.

Eastern European supply is still difficult to find and price wise not lower than other sources.