CATZINFO – DRIED FRUITS & WALNUTS

Many of our readers may have visited the INC-congress in Florida, where as usual outlooks for the various crops were presented.
For those who missed it and those who wish to stay tuned, we will continue to inform you with our CatZinfo about the developments in our field of business.
Focus is now on the new crops on the Northern Hemisphere, which will be harvested starting in July (apricots) and will continue till late summer (walnuts).
Most crops are looking good, but demand is growing every year, so the tensions between supply and demand will certainly cause again some price-movements.
The dollar remains pretty stable to the euro, however some other currencies are rather volatile, like the Turkish Lira which has a substantial influence on the markets for apricots, figs and sultanas, to mention a few.
Meanwhile the Turkish Lira firmed by over 5% since our latest report, causing some additional increase of export prices.

 

Dried Fruits

Apricots
Actual business in trading is slow, so there are quite some speculations about the new crop. Most sources agree we will have more or less same quantity as in the 2 years before with an very nice quality.
Though frost has hit some areas more than others, total supply will be same and will meet demand. Exceptions will be for natural apricots, as not very much speckled fruit will be available needed to be hidden by the dark colour. Organic will be a bottleneck as well, as exactly the ‘organic’ areas have been hit severely by the frost, so quantities will be certainly less.
First speculative process can be called as very attractive due to the weaker Lira, though firmer in the last days. For sure this element will have a bigger impact on pricing than other years.
Perhaps the renewed elections in Istanbul may bring somewhat more stability in the rate of the Lira, but if Mr. Erdogan’s party is not capable to win this battle, the currency may lose again further ground.

Apples
China is sold completely, which means we have to do with the available quantities till the end of the year.
It will not be a surprise in that case last quantities will change hands at premium prices, so we may well advise you to have a look at your needs till the end of 2019.
Alternative sources like Chile or Italy are way higher in price.

Banana chips
The story goes on for the Philippine banana chips: prices remain firm and even reached highest level since long time and are expected even to go higher.
Lack of supply in combination with heavy demand is causing this firm tendency.
Also for this product we see no improvement before the end of the year and availability in the European market will remain tight for time being.

Cranberries
Though the total industry has made a brave attempt to increase the low prices for dried cranberries by all kind of marketing strategies and withholding quantities from the market,
we cannot but conclude the market has eased back somewhat in the last weeks. For sure the levels have been lifted compared to the unprofitable prices last year, but the market  is not ready to accept a further increase.
We suppose a hand-to-mouth buying strategy could not harm.

Currants
Market unchanged with slow demand, but also hardly any offers.

Pineapple/Papaya/Mango
Core pineapple is exhausted till new crop. Shippers do not offer at all or for loyal customers a few cartons per FCL.
Also for the natural red papaya the quantities are limited per FCL, though somewhat more available than the pineapple. Full containers however are an illusion.
Other fruits are well available.

Prunes
Gradually we notice prices a little firmer now most shippers have sold well and are confident to have a clean warehouse at the end of the season.
All sizes are still available, but shippers report quantities are not abundant anymore. We expect the market to firm towards the new season.

Raisins
South-Africa is sold on goldens and having still plenty of Thompsons available, as farmers have chosen for this type in view of the better yield/risk ratio.
California is also having a good quantity of natural Thompsons available and trying to find markets for it. With the unfriendly tariffs in most countries in the Pacific Rim,
they cast at the European market, where they have to compete with South African Thompsons offered at discounted prices compared to the opening levels.
In Chile it seems this time the early buyers were right: quantities of the jumbo flames and goldens are limited and prices firming.
Turkey is having the advantage of the lower Lira, but as mentioned earlier, the last days the currency is firming and added almost 8% to its value since reaching it lowest point around May 10th..
This obviously made export prices for the sultanas – usually quoted in US-dollars – more expensive.


Nuts

Walnuts
In spite of the positive shipment figures from California, the market remained quiet.
So did as well the prices, which increased at the beginning of these year compared to the lower opening prices at the beginning of the season.
However the attempt of the Californian industry to continue this increase for time being failed, in spite of reports most shippers are well sold especially in the higher end qualities.
Buyers however are not nervous and wait or focus more on Chile.
Chile has opened at more attractive prices and this might be one of the reasons buyers have less attention for the Californian offers.
The gap between the high quality product from Chile has become smaller compared to the Californian light Chandlers 80/85%.