CATZINFO – DRIED FRUITS & WALNUTS

After a crowded Anuga fair in Cologne, where most topics have been exchanged, business has been resumed with most of the traders back at their offices.
Focus of most buyers will be the procurement of ingredients for the seasonal period at the end of the year.
Meanwhile the recent news Brexit may not end in a hard divorce – though some points have to be discussed – was breaking news yesterday.
Frankly we do not expect too much consequences on a global level, but for sure those who depend largely on trading with the UK, may feel the final outcome.
The rate of the dollar against the euro remains rather flat, with a slight firming of the euro lately.
The news about stopping temporarily the invasion in Syria by the Turkish forces, has lead yesterday to a somewhat firmer Turkish Lira.


Dried Fruits

Apricots
The market for Turkish apricots is rather dull. Demand is very slow, but Turkish sellers are not yet inclined to boost sales by lowering their prices.
Early sales gave them some ‘air’ to hold their back upright, but if demand remains slow we may see some lower prices for the sulphered apricots.
Another story for the natural and organic apricots, which have suffered from bad weather conditions before the harvest and consequently are scarce and relatively expensive.

Apples
Continuous measurements from the Chinese authorities with regard to environmental issues, prevented most factories to start full speed in order to ship swiftly and bring some relief to the European market. First shipments are delayed by 2 to 3 weeks and will cause an even firmer pricing for spot material.

Banana chips
Though there is not a specific shortage on the fresh bananas, domestic consumption of same is rather heavy, being a cheap alternative to other food.
Hence producers of banana chips have to pay more for their raw materials and cannot obtain the necessary quantities to cover their orderbooks.
This results in delays of shipments and also new orders are taken only for shipments starting for shipments not earlier than first months of 2020.
With the coming Asiatic festivals also at the beginning of next year, we expect prices at least to remain firm – if not firmer – till spring 2020.

Currants
Though new crop prices are somewhat easier, spot material is scarce and it will still take a couple of weeks before first arrivals.

Pineapple/Papaya/Mango
In an empty European market, the news from Thailand the pineapple is coming in slow, does not help to ease the market.
So shipments will be later again than anticipated and will simply mean a hard time to get material before the winter season.
Prices were somewhat declining, but now remain firm again.
For papaya first new crop shipments seem to be according to planning, but these will land in an empty market as well, so on the long run we may expect some lower prices, but not before the beginning of next year.
All other tropical fruits will be in normal supply it seems, with the exception of ginger, being somewhat scarce and firmer in price.

Prunes
A rather flat market for the Chilean prunes. Depending on the shipper some sizes may be short, but overall, all sizes are still available.
Prices are obviously stable.

Raisins
South African shippers are suffering from an oversupply of natural Thompson raisins and are willing to listen to decent proposals in combination with some quantities.
For goldens they are well sold and the gap between these and natural Thompson is rather big, It may well be expected farmers will go for more goldens next year.
There is just one ‘but”: the Ramadan period is again earlier and must be covered mainly from this crop except for a few early and quick shipments to the Middle East.
California is struggling with the same problem: a good crop of natural Thompson which is by far exceeding demand, Prices came down considerably and are in strong competition with the South Africans.
Turkish sultanas are well available and prices fluctuating according to the rate of the Turkish Lira against the dollar.
Iranian prices are actually rather attractive, but practical problems because of all sanction makes it rather complicated to import. Though it is fully legal to import sultanas/raisins from Iran, but if you cannot find a shipping line to move the product as they abstain in view of American sanctions, it remains just a theoretical option.
Chile has left some last loads of jumbo goldens and flames at higher prices, as this time they really are sold well.


Nuts

Walnuts
The crop in California is unexpectedly disappointing and on top is coming in later, This made most shippers to offer limited and of course at higher prices.
Buyers seem to be covered for the greater part till the Christmas period, as first shipment from California usually do not arrive before end November, making supply in the retail chain timely rather tight.
In shell walnuts are especially tight, certainly the Hartley-variety, being down about 30% in yield. Higher prices can be expected, certainly when sheller can pay higher prices for the inshells as they make good prices for shelled.

Chile is close to be sold on the halves and has left some lower level products like quarters and pieces.

Despite the good quality, Ukraine is experiencing a roughly 20% shorter crop compared to last year. Stormy weather conditions caused the walnuts to fell of the trees in an early stage. In combination with the firm US market, prices are firming. First arrivals are expected by the end of October / beginning of November.