CATZINFO – DRIED FRUITS & WALNUTS

An unusual start of this CatZinfo, just to be sure you have not missed it:

we will move!

As from Monday February 3rd we will start in our brand new offices at the following address:

Boompjes 40
3011 XB Rotterdam

All other details like telephone, e-mail,  PO Box 180 etc. remain unchanged.

Our communication- and telephone systems will be down today (Friday January 31th) from 16:00 hours and if all goes well, we will be available Monday morning again.

 

The Corona-virus is gaining momentum as it seems. More and more restrictions have been announced for travelling and the daily live in China is coming to a standstill.
This already has – and for sure will have – some impact on shipments from China and eventually other areas in the Pacific Rim if the virus will also be detected in other countries.
Today is also the last official day of our British friends being a member of the EU.
There will not be any major change till December 2020, but depending on the negotiations till that time, there might be some problems ahead if it will end in a ‘hard’ Brexit.
The harvest of the first crops on the Southern Hemisphere has begun and in the coming weeks we will see how this will work out on the prices.
For the European buyers the firmer dollar does obviously firm prices in euro’s for the various products.

Dried Fruits

Apples
Prices for Chinese apples remain stable and shipments sofar were going well.
In view of above remarks we may however encounter some hick ups with regard to the shipments.
Chinese authorities have forbidden gathering of people due to Corona virus and shippers already calling in ‘force majeure’ for later shipments as factories are not operating.
This may cause delay and less availability on the European market if this will take longer.

Apricots
The market for Turkish apricots is still rather dull.
It seems both sellers and buyers are waiting for the bloom to develop and especially the weather conditions prevailing during that period.
The Turkish Lira is getting also somewhat weaker against the US-dollar in the last weeks.
This compensates more or less the somewhat firmer local market, as farmers sitting on their stocks hoping for better prices.
All sizes are well available and only the natural and organic products are in a short position.

Banana chips
No changes yet in the Philippine banana chips situation. Shipments are still problematic.
This being the case for a longer period, stocks in Europe came down to the bare minimum and spot materials is hard to get, other than at premium prices.
Apart from the infrastructural problems also the supply of the fresh green bananas is very slow and we do not foresee much improvement upto third quarter of 2020.

Cranberries
Supply has come down quite substantially and even the bigger shippers cannot offer in full at the moment. Prices are firming, certainly for the later shipments.
On the spot the tight positions may lead to some temporary bottlenecks in the supply chain.

Currants
Apart from some additional demand for the Easter period especially from the UK, the season is over.
Prices definitely came down in comparison to last year’s level, but decline has come at ease, now most Greek shippers have sold a greater part of their stocks and see no immediate need to give a further discount.
We also expect the first quotations from South Africa within short and will be happy to quote in case of interest.

Pineapple/Papaya/Ginger
The pineapple situation in Thailand continues to be highly problematic.
Supply of the ‘core’ pineapple is down to zero and offers either impossible or restricted to 50 or 100 cartons per container for loyal customers.
Also the ‘flesh’ pineapple is getting scarce and price increasing tremendously as well.
We see more and more shippers asking for postponement of shipments (or even worse…….!!!).
The other tropical products are less problematic but also firm.
Papaya is available but being used as kind of an alternative to fill up in mixes/mueslis etc. instead of pineapple, demand is heavy and prices consequently firm as well.
Prices for ginger have substantially increased.
The crop this year was delayed and less than expected due to the drought situation in the 2nd half of 2019.
Another important reason for this increase is the increased demand for fresh ginger from mainly Malaysia and China.
Consequently, this caused changes on raw material availability and pricing, which undoubtfully will remain high this season .

Prunes
Most shippers from Chile are somewhat reluctant to offer as the drought will most probably lead to a smaller crop.
Usually fruits are somewhat bigger when crops are smaller, so (cheaper) small sizes will be less available.
For time being no panic, but we recommend to have an eye on the developments and of course we can assist with some indications or offers if needed.

Raisins
Chilean prices opened in a continuation of last year’s prices, but while the crop is coming in, shippers notice a disappointing yield.
Last week prices have jumped considerably and actually most shippers in Chile are careful to offer other than at ‘safe’ prices.
The South African harvest started as well and first indication as expected: for Thompsons prices stabilizing as farmers have partly chosen to change to goldens, being high priced. The bigger supply of goldens made prices for goldens to open at a lower level than last year.
Turkey is struggling to sell a big crop and prices are at low levels, but also stabilizing at this moment.
As buyers have waited as long as possible, general expectation is the prices will pick up as soon as demand will be more serious.


Nuts

Walnuts
The demand for the Californian walnuts is still sluggish.
Demand is slow and we see some slight fall in prices with those shippers in need for some cash and/or to keep their factories running.
It is a little bit too early to make an educated guess about the Chilean crop. For sure they will hold prices above the Californian levels.
It will take still a couple of weeks before we know more.