CATZINFO- DRIED FRUITS

The soap of Brexit still continues. It is anybody’s guess how this will end, but we won’t be surprised if at the end our friends from Britain will remain on board.
No news yet from the US-China talks, but in this case we suppose must see this as a positive sign.
If a solution will be found, this certainly will have some effects on our business. In theory the Chinese may be back on a larger scale as a buyer in California,
which will certainly have its influence on the pricing.
On the other hand market levels from alternative sources may ease, when they see the Chinese leaving and returning back to California for buying.
Meanwhile trade is a little relaxed. The opening prices from the Southern Hemisphere are known and some business already in the books, but also some buyers are still digesting all the information.
The dollar remains stable, whereas the Turkish Lira weakened somewhat against dollar and euro.

Dried Fruits

Apricots
The market for Turkish apricots is in the ‘wait-and-see’ modus. Both buyers and sellers seem to wait for the outcome of the bloom.
The cold weather in the previous period has delayed the bloom of the trees.
At the moment it is rainy, which is good and may fill the reservoirs up to the max,
Of course the risk of frost is still there, but being somewhat later (10/15 days on average), the risk percentage is somewhat lower.
Shipments are steady. Except for the bigger sizes, there is still enough material available and prices are somewhat easier with the help of the weaker Turkish Lira.

Apples
The first defaults from China have been reported. Some shippers have made contracts at favourable high prices, but are not able to obtain sufficient raw material, at least not at a price still to make some profit.
Unfortunately contractual reliability in these regions is sometimes somewhat opportunistic and legal enforcement of contracts rather problematic for foreign buyers.
With new crop not available before end of the year, we foresee a ‘hot’ market for dried apples from China.
As the market will be empty at the end, the new crop will certainly not be much cheaper for the first shipments, so we see no improvement till early next year at least.

Banana chips
Strong demand for export of the banana chips as well as domestic requirements for the raw bananas did firm the market. Shippers are in short supply and cannot ship timely, so delays occur.
This made the stock positions in Europe become very tight and available quantities for spot material are scarce and expensive.

Cranberries
Not much activities at steady pricing.

Currants
Most Greek shippers are well sold and actually do not offer, other than on requests to offer. With demand,  as usual in this period,  not very active, we see prices remains stable.
The higher prices from South Africa did not encounter too much enthousiasm, also because the berry size is again very small this year.

Pineapple/Papaya/Mango
The situation for pineapple and papaya is getting more and more problematic. Raw material is short and shipment are in delay, if not shipped at all.
Prices are firming and also for spot position the low stock levels are causing problems in the supply chain.

Prunes
The exports to China of fresh plums has been more substantial than anticipated. Opening prices were more or less a continuation of last season’s level, at the moment we receive first signs of a firmer market.
Another trigger is the Argentine crop, which is rather disappointing and reported to be only 1/3rd of the projected crop.
The available quantity for prunes will be around 65K mtons and quality and sizing is good. For time being supply is sufficient in all sizes, but we may see some bottlenecks at the end of the season.
Actually prices are attractive compared to other dried fruits, so shipment may be stronger again.
For this reason we may well advise you to have a look at your forward positions and perhaps cover at least part of your needs.

Raisins
South Africa is holding their cards closed yet. Some limited offers for Thompsons were in the market, but for goldens and other varieties no offers around yet.
For goldens it is expected to see a firm market as the available quantity will be substantially less than last year.
Reason why packers first wish to see what they will and can get in, as farmers selling to the highest bidder.
Californian prices are somewhat lower at the moment and are reaching same level as from South-Africa.
Chilean prices are firming as more and more it becomes clear jumbo sizes – the most popular from Chile – are in short supply.
Turkish prices are stable due to lack of demand in combination with the weaker Turkish Lira.
Iran is not playing a role at the moment, though some limited quantities are still traded by companies not having to fear for American punishments.

Nuts

Walnuts
Though demand is slow these days, prices for the Californian walnuts are firming. Especially the higher end Chandler shelled walnuts are getting scarce and became substantially more expensive.
Also the inshell walnuts firmed in pricing, as markets in Asia, Middle East and Turkey started buying carefully for ‘political’ reasons, but now stepping in on a larger scale.
Prices for hand cracked walnuts from Chile are more expensive than expected, but with the firmer prices from California, the Chilean exporters will not see an immediate reason to give in.