CatZinfo – Dried fruits & Nuts
For the coming days many of our readers will be present at the INC-congress in Sevilla and we hope to see many of you for some good discussions. With many already ‘on the road’ the coming days will not be that hectic. On top in Holland Monday is a holiday and our offices will be closed for Pentecost.
The volatility of the currency is a serious element these days. The firmer US-dollar against the euro is offsetting lower prices from origin. The decrease of the Turkish Lira seems to be without limit: in the last four weeks another 10% was lost against the US-dollar.
Trading was active in the last days: spot business continues to be very heavy, whereas interest for the products from the Southern Hemisphere is growing. Buyers need product and prices remain either firm (walnuts) or are very attractive (prunes). Also the firmer dollar is encouraging buyers to step in for the coming period.
Shipments are about 15% over last year’s quantity at more or less same price levels on average. However there is a bigger gap between the cheap small sizes and more expensive larger sizes due to their scarcity. It is a little early to predict the size of the new crop. Absence of real frost in winter may bring some problems with insects and more structural is the fact that the acreage of apricot orchards is diminishing as prices for the farmers are not attractive at the moment.
Steady firming prices for Chinese apples now stocks are down and have to come from cold store. Not much activity to report. We foresee some limited availability in Europe in and after the summer as shipments have been lower than usual.
The continuous low supply of the green bananas is ruling the market. Prices remain firm and also the increasing prices for fuel to heat the fryers is pushing prices up.
The market for cranberries can be described in one word: firm! The limitation of the supply can be noticed and prices increasing week by week.
Same applies for the currant market: Greece is sold completely now as well as South Africa.
Though in this period demand is traditionally slow, we expect a real premium has to be paid in Sep/Oct when the industries start their intake for the (heavy) Christmas period, but currants out of the new crop simply will not be there yet.
Not much activities. Supply in Thailand is normal, but shipments still slow. On the spot we see low stock levels due to these delayed shipments.
The firmer dollar is spoiling the attractive pricing of the Chilean prunes. We see already some firming from this origin as most shippers have sold well and their cash flow is positive now first shipments have arrived and been paid for.
Due to the weaker Turkish Lira prices for sultanas remain steady on the export levels. The gap with other origins is increasing, with Turkish sultanas attractively price.
The increase of the Californian prices (especially Thompsons) is flattening somewhat. The high prices have simply lowered demand, an old economic law still working.
South Africa having one of their biggest crops ever – though not yet exactly determined – is the winner this year. A big crop and high prices is the bonanza of which every agricultural industry is dreaming about.
There is somewhat more interest for the higher end qualities Californian walnuts. Prices are stabilizing and with most shippers comfortably sold, they see no need to give in at pricing of their last loads, also knowing still 5 to 6 months to go before the crop 2018 will arrive at destination.
For the coming period we have to watch the developments of the new crop, which is looking good and heading towards a ‘normal’ crop. However still a long time to go with some ‘natural’ hazards to overcome.
Secondly is the tariff of 40% and 35% in China for resp. inshell and shelled walnuts, which may destroy the Chinese market as an outlet. However in the last years the importance of the Chinese market already diminished to only 1% of the export volume. A quantity which might be sold in other prospective markets like Turkey and some other Asian countries like South Korea and India.
Though the crop in Chile was good and again bigger than previous years, the quantity of ‘handcracked’ material did not grow. Reason is the higher prices for labour, which makes more and more processor choose for mechanical cracking. Prices for ‘handcracked’’ material therefor will remain firm and stable and the gap with ‘machine cracked’ will be bigger.