CATZINFO – DRIED FRUITS & WALNUTS

For the trade from the Asian area, the Corona-virus is getting more and more impact.
Obviously Chinese suppliers suffer from the extended holidays and the lack of workers due to the fact many of them have not been able to return.
Consequently delays are occurring for sure for Chinese products, but also from other Asian sources we hear first signs of problems, having not enough workforce.
Undoubtfully in some cases the Corona-argument is “used” as well. For sure everybody will be confronted with the aspects of the quarantine measurements.
The crops in the Southern Hemisphere in general have developed well. Now harvest has started (or about to be stated) we do not hear too much negative news.
Nevertheless each crop has its own story and in some cases thee might be arguments to step in.
The dollar strengthened again somewhat and who knows we may see dollar and euro at par this year!
For the Europeans it undoubtfully means import will be more expensive and may offset somewhat lower prices on local markets due to good crops.

 

Dried Fruits

Apples
The issue in China is not, whether there are apples available, but how to get them packed and shipped.
Simply factories reporting not to be able to produce as only 10 or 15% of their workers returned and besides also logistic operations are restricted to the bear minimum.
For how long this will take is anybody’s guess. For sure the prices for apples on the spot market will increase if supply will be interrupted!
First reports from other sources are also not very encouraging:
Chile as a consequence of the drought for sure will have a smaller crop, whereas the prediction for the European apple crops are also quite negative as far as quantities are concerned.

Apricots
No substantial changes to report for the Turkish dried apricots. The Turkish industry is obviously trying to lift prices, with all kind of arguments and partly succeeds.
Export figures slightly increased by 1,5% YTD and farmers are holding back stocks as they see in these export figures the expectation of a manageable carry-out.
Bottomline for a change in the market will be the period of frost in March/April. If this will be during bloom, we may see a drastic rise in prices.
For time being the firmer US$ also has its effect on the exchange rate of the Turkish Lira which passed US$/YTL 6,– this week
The availability of South African (sour) apricots is a disaster this year and prices are firm with restricted quantities.

Banana chips
The supply remains the bottleneck for the Philippine banana chips and shipments are limited and delayed.
It means on the European market we notice more and more shortages with a firm pricing for spot material.
We expect this situation to continue at least till after the summer period.

Cranberries
Also for this product a repetition of the situation, as no changes to report. Most shippers can or will not offer yet as supply I down. Needless to say what happens with the prices.
Also for nearby position (spot-afloat) not much quantities available.

Currants
Not much to report. The high season is over and the Greek sold well, but still have some quantities left.
South Africa will have again an old- fashioned crop of a couple of thousand tons, so will have to adapt to the Greek prices.

Pineapple/Papaya/Mango
After some detailed info in our last CatZinfo, we can be brief: situation on pineapple is still a headache, with limited quantities allowed per container.
The other tropical products remain as well in tight supply with firm prices, but available.

Prunes
In contradiction to the raisins, the prunes seem not to have suffered that much from the drought. The crop is looking good, though expected to be a little smaller (less 10/15%)
The harvest is about to begin, so it might be the yield could be even more disappointing due to the lack of water in the last stages of growing.

Raisins
The heavy drought period last year (no snow was registered in the winter time) in Chile is ruling the opening prices for the 2020 season.
Not only the size of the fruits will shrink, but also the total available quantity.
Also flames crop in Chile has been taken away on many farms. Expectation is that about 50% of the flame crop has already been replaced by new varieties.
As a result in the last weeks prices for flames have jumped considerably and actually most shippers in Chile are careful to offer and only at ‘safe’ prices.
Also the levels for jumbo goldens are firm due to less availability of jumbo sizes with enough sugar content to end as really bright coloured after sulphuring.
The crop in South Africa will be good. Prices for Thompsons came down already during last season due to the oversupply of Thompsons.
The opening prices for Thompsons are hence also very attractive. Goldens came also down compared to last year as overall quantity in South Africa is simply bigger.
Californian prices remain stable for the Thompsons, but they shall have to keep an eye on the development of the South-African (lower) levels.
Export prices for Turkish sultanas remain stable as same as with apricots, the slight increase on the local market is compensated by the weaker Lira against the dollar.

Nuts

Walnuts
The Californian seem not to be able to hold the higher prices. Shipments are somewhat lower in January and we see some easier prices.
To recall: the prices increased because of a smaller crop compared to last year, but now shipments are running behind, buyers take a wait and see attitude.
Nevertheless in this pace the carry-out will be reasonable, so we expect this to be a temporary decrease.
Of course if the problems in China maintain too long, we may see also a decrease in demand from over there, which quantity has to be moved to other markets.
The crop in Chili will anyhow be of a good quality. Harvest will start in March (Serr early / Chandler late March).
However also here the lack of water may in certain areas limit the output, but this will be compensated by the again bigger bearing acreage coming in production this year.
As usual first indication will be around during the Gulfood in Dubai.