CatzInfo – Dried Fruits & Walnuts

Gradually the dollar is firming against the euro, which makes calculating into euros less friendly. Moreover most markets are firming caused by a mixture of elements: seasonal demand, disappointing crops, firmer local currencies and empty markets as buyers have been buying very carefully in the decreasing markets. Now we seem to have left the lower prices, demand is accelerating as no one wants to miss the bargains.
The majority of the crops on the Northern Hemisphere are safely in meanwhile. Apples, sultanas and currants are rather disappointing as far as the crop size is concerned, whereas walnuts have a better yield. Meanwhile prices for those products have anticipated to the new supply- and demand situation.
From the political side we see the consequences of the tariffs imposed by the USA causing substantial decreases in the imports of Californian products. The possible agreement on Brexit remains an uncertainty until endorsed by all parties involved, but also will have some influence in our future trading


Dried Fruits

Apricots

Partly because of the firmer Turkish Lira, which gained some ground against the US-dollar (+20% since start of the season) and partly because good quality and bigger sized apricots are getting scarce. Shipments are similar for the first 3 months compared with one year ago (30K) and if this continues in this pace we may see a very small carry out. Therefore a firmer trend seems to be realistic.

Apples

It looks like the apples will be the headache file for the coming season. Prices are increasing on a daily base and have meanwhile jumped by almost 70 to 80%. Typical for such a market are the delays in shipments, which does not help to ease the market especially now stocks are close to zero. Another issue our meanwhile some ‘renegotiations’ of earlier closed contract at lower prices.

Bananachips

The prices for bananachips are slowly on the rise again. Shortage of bananas in the Philippines combined with a heavy domestic demand as bananas are relatively cheap food nowadays.
Shipment are coming off slow, causing some low stock situation in Europe. With the coming festivals in Asia we do not foresee a weaker undertone in the coming period.

Currants

The pessimistic expectations for the new crop currants from Greece became true. The crop is smaller than last year and though in tonnage not such an important commodity, for the bakeries an important ingredient.
Of course prices have firmed considerably and we see no downside for this season. Perhaps a good crop in South-Africa may bring somewhat relief, but in tonnage this certainly cannot compensate the smaller Greek crop.
Besides the South-African shippers are aware about the situation in Greece as well……

Pineapple/Papaya/Mango

In Thailand the crops of pineapple and papaya have been harvested and no shortage is foreseen. Prices in origin already eased down somewhat, but due to slow shipments availability spot in Europe is tight. Consequently prices in the second hand remain firm with some items not or limited available.

Prunes

No major changes on the prunes to report. Chile is ending the season with the larger sizes more difficult to get. The blossom period has passed without frost damages, so a normal crop can be expected.
Californian prices remain firm.

Raisins

Turkish sultana prices are firming rapidly at the moment. Farmers are holding back their balance stocks now there is an upward tendency in the market. Of course the higher value of the Turkish Lira is playing a role as well. Light material (nr. 10) is getting scarce and a premium is required.
Iran is discounting on their products and well below competing origins, however due to practical problems of shipments and payments, most ‘western’ buyers abstain from contracting.
South-Africa is preparing for the new season already. Apart from some odd loads of ‘special’ raisins, mainstream product is completely sold. The outlook for the new crop is good, but only time will tell as we have seen more surprises in the past.
Same applies for Chile, whereas usually in the beginning of the season prices were firm and supply ‘disappointing’. Last loads are changing hands at higher levels as still a few months to go till the new crop will be there.
Californian prices moving sidewards. The upward trend has disappeared, but at current levels sales are going well.

 

Nuts

Walnuts

The attractive prices for the Californian walnuts have caused some active buying and orderbooks of most shippers are well filled. Though shipment figures are a little low, this is mainly caused because of a somewhat later start of the season.
Also buying from traditional markets like Turkey or India are slow because if the higher tariffs, but it is expected this will catch up later in the season, when the political tensions may ease somewhat.
Shippers are pretty confident they will also move this larger crop, as lower prices will  certainly facilitate a higher shipping volume. Meanwhile prices have firmed somewhat, without saying we see a change in the market.
Chile is sold for the higher end quality products like handcracked and extra light halves. Remaining products like quarters and pieces or light and even ‘yellow’ coloured material is still limited available.
Focus will be on the new crop and with an expected 150K or even more, the Chilean crop is becoming a serious supplier in the world walnut market.