CATZINFO – DRIED FRUITS

Though the new extension of the Brexit-period was breaking news, this will have no major influence on our trade.
Other geo-political developments may have more impact, like the talks between USA with China as well as with the EU.
Also the final outcome of the Turkish local elections in combination with the economic situation in Turkey may be followed as the value of the Turkish Lira is declining,
which certainly influences prices for apricots, figs and sultanas being important players in our scope of Agri-products.
On the spot we see more and more bottlenecks due to slow shipments from Asia (apples, banana chips, tropical fruits) and limited stocks in Europe.
Also some type of raisins may become or is already scarce like golden types and jumbo sized product from Chile.

 

Dried Fruits

Apricots
The blooming is almost over in the lower area and hardly any frost damage is reported.
In the higher areas some orchards have been hit and there still is a slight chance of frost, but looking at the weather prediction this chance will be minimal.
However Turkish shippers are not yet in a mood to sell on a speculative basis.
Till April 23/25 there is still a (minor) frost risk and secondly the volatility of the Turkish currency is bringing additional risk to sell early.
For nearby shipments prices remained stable (actually firmer but compensated by the weaker Lira) as demand for Ramadan was picking up and the frost which occurred.
Shipments are steady and it is expected the carry-out will be manageable.
A wait-and-see strategy seems to be a safe advice, but keep an eye on the weather and currency.

Apples
More and more shippers are sold or just have one load of this or that. Consequently stock in Europe are declining and prices on the spot market remain firm for available positions.
As we still have to wait for the new crop coming available only at the end of the year (crop in Sep/Oct + shipment to Europe), we shall have to face a tight market with high prices till that time.
All under the provision the new crop ’19 will be ‘normal’ again.

Banana chips
The supply of the green bananas remains slow and available quantities in the Philippines are fully allocated for the coming months already.
New offers are not only more expensive again, but also for later shipments. Could we manage to have some 2nd half August shipment booked for one or two loads at the max,
meanwhile September is the earliest sailing for today. Needless to say the stocks over here are drying up and prices consequently firm.
We cannot but advise to have a look at your needs till the end of the year.

Currants
With South Africa not a seller anymore and bringing a marginal quantity on the market in combination with Greek exporters sold or having an odd load for sale, it cannot be a surprise the market for currants is firm.
Actually we see year on year the acreage of currants decline.
The South-African farmers see it as a ‘risky’ crop and it is not likely they will enlarge acreage. The Greek industry has hardly modernized the cultivation and harvesting, so younger generations opt for other products.
Up to now demand was steady, so price went up when there was a smaller crop.
However we do see a structural change in demand, now some industries are changing recipes and replace currants for other small fruits, mainly midget raisins, being on average cheaper.

Pineapple/Papaya/Mango
Tight supply of pineapple and papaya dominate the market for the Thailand tropical fruits.
Shipments are delayed and new orders for pineapple are not accepted for full loads, but only in combination with other products with max. 2/300 cases of pineapple.
Prices have firmed and we do not foresee any improvement till the autumn crop.

Prunes
The Chilean harvest is in and drying and sizing is on. The crop is almost equal to last years and prices are as well.
All sizes are well available at this moment.
California is lowering its prices, having more to sell, but is still way above the Chilean prices, certainly for Europe, as a 9,6% import-duty has to be calculated on top of the landed prices.

Raisins
South African shippers are rather hesitant to offer. For goldens they prefer first to see the outcome of the quantity. Though the volume will be less than 50% of last year’s, the quality is good, so not much standard will be available and it will be mainly choice grade available. Also jumbo goldens will be very scarce this year,
On the contrary the Thompson will be more available as bringing better margin for the farmers at lower (rain-) risk.
The higher available volume may need to adjust the prices for Thompsons somewhat to attract more buyers, who have read also about the bigger quantity of volumes….
Though quantity wise the South African crop is only roughly 20% of the Californian crop, the American exporters had to follow as shipments came down considerably at the higher levels compared to those from SA.
Chile is somewhat short on jumbo sized raisins, actually being the most popular type for Europe.
Turkey is struggling with their price-policy. Buyers are not that enthusiastically buying, but the Turkish industry is confident to move the crop or only will have a limited carry-out.
On top the currency is not making live easy for the exporters selling mainly in dollars.


Nuts

Walnuts
Analyzing the enthusiastic figures of the March shipments from California, highlighted with +26% in March and +10% YTD, we also read in the margin the total available crop was +8%.
So we see prices remain pretty stable, though Californian point to the fact at this pace of shipments the carry out will be minimal.
However there have been some additional shipments for the Ramadan and Chile will start shipping in the next month and for sure take over some market share till the Californian crop will be the ‘most fresh’.
The crop in Chile is finished for the Serr variety and slightly lower than expected; the Chandler crop is not yet done so hard to say anything. First sales have been made at more aggressive pricing compared to last year.

Note: our offices will be closed Friday April 19th and Monday April 22nd due to Easter.