CatZinfo – Dried Fruits & Walnuts

Trading remains rather active especially for the nearby periods. Lack of some items, such as apples, golden raisins, tropical products, result in firmer pricing in the second hand for spot material.
The size of most crops are known and pretty accurate assessed, whereas for example currants, prunes and walnuts have to be harvested still, but not much surprises expected anymore.
More surprises may be expected from the political side. USA and China have – at least temporarily – ceased fire, but new tensions can be noticed by the EU (France imposing a tax on tech-internationals) which may provoke higher tariffs imposed by the USA for imported European products.
Also in the Middle East area, particularly around the Street of Hormuz, we see the Iranians threatening the oil logistics, which may have its influence also on the economy and more specific on the shipments from Asia to Europe for our products.
The Turkish Lira improved somewhat, though lost again over 2% after the Central Bank president was fired by Mr. Erdogan.


Dried Fruits

Apricots

The first shipments will be about 2 weeks later than usual, due to rainy and colder weather in the previous period.
The crop however looks to be good and the remarkably low “official” estimation (87K tons) has been corrected by the estimation of most shippers, indicating 100K+ at the moment.
We expect a fairly good balance in supply and demand for the coming season, so we may head for a stable pricing at least till next blossoming period in March 2020.
The quality seems to be very good this year, with on average no 3 and 4 in the majority and only some hick-ups in the organic yields.

Apples

Chinese shippers are reluctant to offer new crop already.
In this empty market they tend to delay offering in order to keep prices firm at least for the first shipments.
Also the crop may be disappointing again due to weather related risks. It is therefore to be expected at least for the first shipments a premium has to be paid and we may see a downward tendency only at the beginning of next year.
Spot material will be scarce for the coming months, as new shipments will not reach Europe before the end of October at the earliest.
Also the longer transit time of the shipments, due to shipping companies call more ports during a voyage to save money, do not help for a swift availability of new material.

Banana chips

For the Philippine banana chips the situation remains tight. Stocks in Europe are low and shipments cannot keep pace with current demand.
New orders suffer from a longer lead-time as factories are fully booked combined with a shortage of fresh material.

Cranberries

The measurements taken by the cranberry suppliers (especially in the USA) at least have lifted the prices structurally, but seem  now to be stabilizing.

Currants

Greece is now focusing on the new crop, having sold the 2018 crop. First shipments may depart in September 2019.
The crop is likely to contain many small berries and also for the coming weeks the weather is forecasted to be rather rainy, so we are not very optimistic prices may considerably drop

Pineapple/Papaya/Mango

Thai shippers are sold on natural red papaya and core pineapple till the new crop in October.
It simply means stocks will be none to zero till first arrivals of the new crop.
With usual stronger demand towards the winter time, this may lead to an overheated second hand market in the coming period.
Some relief may be seen only after the pipeline is filled again, but this will not be before Q1/2020.
Other products like mango, cantaloupe and ginger are still available and new crops upfront shortly, so we expect stable pricing, though somewhat higher than in the past as the Thai Baht is firming against the dollar.

Prunes

The prices are slowly increasing now Chilean shippers have sold well.
With the diminishing supply and competition from California, they feel stronger every day. Most calibers are still available, though some shippers sold on particular sizes already.

Raisins

South-Africa in an attempt to move more Thompsons is lowering the price for this type of raisins. Due to the fact farmer have chosen massively to produce the natural Thompsons, there is an oversupply in this variety.
As buyers ‘smell’ this supply situation, nobody is in a hurry to buy, so this makes the SA shippers somewhat nervous.
The goldens on the other hand have been produced only limited and consequently been sold pretty quickly.
We expect towards the end of the season a serious shortage on goldens.
California suffers as well from the SA policy to lower the prices. Sales are obviously slow for this origin as well and we see prices weakening.
On top Turkey is heading for a good crop as well (300K+), so worldwide supply of natural raisins is sufficient to satisfy demand.
The more special items from Chile (jumbo sizes) are for once(!) really getting scarce and price firming considerably for jumbo flames and goldens.

 

Nuts

Walnuts Californian shipment figures for the month of June show a 4% increase against last year’s same period.
Though shippers report to be sold very well, prices remain flat as demand is slow as well.
It is obvious the Californian have to face more and more the Chilean and European competition, which is gradually growing in numbers.
On top the Chilean crop comes off in April/May, meaning ‘fresh’ product on the market in the second half of the year, making buyers not so anxious anymore for the first shipments from California.
The coming crop from California is developing well and though the estimate will be announced end August only, the indications are roughly for a crop ‘same or more’ than previous season.
Therefore speculative sales for the new crop, usually starting in summer, are lower than usual.