CatZinfo – Dried Fruits & Nuts
Though the Gulfood Fair was well visited, it did not bring back the energy in the markets. Many products are traded in ‘flat’ markets with low volatility. As always there are some exceptions, but mainly for the nuts, such as almonds from California (frost damage) and hazelnuts from Turkey due to interference of TMO.
For traders in raisins/sultanas there is news from Brussels: no agreement was reached about the transitional period after lowering the MRL for iprodione. Second round will be in June 2018 most probably and till that time the current MRL will stay in place.
The dollar is getting stronger against the euro, but this also usually means also stronger against most domestic currencies of producing countries, which balances out on pricing and prevents too big shocks on the markets.
Around Malatya the crucial period of the bloom is about to start. As the bloom may start early due to the higher than average temperatures lately, the risk the crop will be ‘caught’ by a night frost is high. Shippers are reluctant to sell and also farmers only bring to the local market in Malatya the quantities needed to have some cash. Anyhow supply of good material is tight, caused by the bad quality on average of the crop. Prices continue to firm and this may only change after the risk of frost is over, usually somewhere in April.
Due to the Chinese New Year there is not much to report on the market for dried apples. Expect new offers to be higher again as raw material now has to come from the cold stores and on top we now have all kind of regulations imposed by the Chinese government in order to slow down the pollution.
Some ‘dull’ weeks due to the Asian festival period. Positions in Europe are getting tight and shipments slow due to the holidays.
The situation for cranberries is changing every week. As reported several times the industry seems to have found a way to limit production and prices are firming. Some shippers already have a waiting list for new orders.
Finally South-Africa has entered the market, however the crop is short. Shippers report a 50% lower outcome than last year. Also the berries are rather small this year, so the specifications shall have to be adapted. It will not be a surprise that prices are well above last year’s level, however the market is taking up the limited quantities without problem as the ‘sold’ sign is expected to be shown within short.
As also Greece is virtually sold currants will be scarce the coming months. If at all something for sale, Greek shippers are even above the South-African level.
No changes to report.
The Chilean crop is about 2 weeks later than last year, but can be called normal. The size of the prunes is slightly bigger on average compared to last season and expected to be dominant in the 60/70 for pitted. The crop is expected to reach – almost like last year – a 70.000 tons, so we do not expect huge changes in the market.
The prices from the Southern Hemisphere are in the picture.
Chilean opening prices for mainly the jumbo sized fruits is higher than previous season.
For Flames and Thompsons the levels for the European buyers are pretty much the same due to the weaker dollar compared to one year ago. However the Chilean Peso has firmed by about 10% in the last weeks, so we see a further increase of the prices.
For the jumbo goldens the prices is making the product to a luxury item and even close to some nut prices.
South Africa has opened also with higher prices as expected. There is especially interest in the Thompsons, as an alternative for the lack and high prices from California. It is also to be expected that farmers have chosen more for Thompsons at these price levels, rather than for the more labour intensive and risky goldens. The size of the crop is a little less than expected, but quality is excellent, so there will be not much ‘standard’ available.
Turkish and Iranian sultanas are stable and market is very thin.
There is not much activity going on in the Californian walnut market. Shippers claim to be pretty well sold and some even report to be sold completely already; buyers see prices slowly weakening and are not in a hurry to buy. We expect however in the coming weeks or months some movements as we still have to bridge at least 8 months till the new crop comes on the market and some covering has to take place.
First Chilean prices are also higher and we have to see whether the market accept these levels. In view of the tendency of the Californian prices, we suppose Chilean shippers shall have to be more attractive to move real quantities.