CatZinfo – dried fruits & nuts

The news about the continuous outbreaks of the COVID-19 is still ruling the news.
Though consumption of food in general and in particular dried fruits and nuts did not suffer too much, for sure some ‘practical’ problems hit the trade.
Factories running low due to workers blocked at home due to lockdowns, logistic services interrupted for same reason; due to this shipments rolled over as schedules of vessels had to be re-organized;
change from out-of-home to retail consumption; etc.
This resulted for some products in low inventories in Europe and premium pricing for spot material. Unfortunately the delays in the supply chain are not yet over, as worldwide the pandemic for sure has not been conquered.
On the Northern Hemisphere harvesting has began of the early fruits (f.e. apricots), whereas others are about to start. So far no dramatic crops have been reported.
The dollar weakened a little towards the euro in the last days, which is kind of favourable for the European buyers.

Dried Fruits


Apples

A few months before the new crop apples in China will be harvested the market in origin is rather quiet, with hardly any offers yet for the new crop.
The crop so far looks normal, but there are still a few elements, which could possibly change this, like weather conditions, demand for fresh apples and logistic disruptions.
Due to slow shipments in the last months, spot material is getting tight in Europe and until the new crop arrives (late Oct/Nov) not much will come in anymore.

Apricots

The crop has started and first (but very limited) new crop dried fruit has arrive at the local market. The estimation of the Ministry of Agriculture of 95K tons might be a little optimistic if we hear the stories of our several sources.
The average fruit is a little bigger than last year, so small fruits will not be much cheaper than the larger sizes. The carry out will be max. 5K tons is expected.
Prices are slowly increasing, now also TMO will be more and more involved to regulate the prices, which gives confidence to the farmers not to bring all of their crop on the market at once.
The percentage of natural apricots will be higher than last year, as farmer have seen the premium last year and hence chosen to dry more natural apricots.
The Turkish Lira is less volatile as earlier this year, though still at a rather low value against the dollar.


Banana chips

The pandemic is not at all under control in the Philippines. New local lockdowns slow down again production and logistics.
Some shippers prefer to abstain from offering, as they are afraid not to be able to ship due to lack of raw material and may have to pay higher prices to honour contracts.
There is also competition from the fresh market, sourcing for the domestic market, as the bananas are relatively cheap compared to imported fruits and also nutritious.
Shipments remain in a sluggish rhythm depending on which vessels do touch the ports.
We foresee it will take a longer time before supply will be back to normal, and cannot but advise to have a look for your needs till the end of the year.


Currants

Anyhow the quiet season and too early to say something about the new crop, which is developing well.

Pineapple/Papaya/Mango

For pineapple the season has finished and canning factories close down as well.
It means for dehydrated pineapple core Thai shippers shall have to cope what they have in stock till the new crop in October becomes available.
Prices may decrease a little in origin, but for spot material the market is rather empty and we do not expect the backlog of orders will be over till late this year.
Papaya season is over as well, but here we foresee no problem in supply.
Other products are well available.

Prunes

It is getting more and more difficult to get offers for anything smaller than 60/70, as there is a shortage in small fruits in Chile.
The gap between the various sizes is narrowing and un general prices firming as the crop is smaller.
Besides Chile has become the main supplier for Europe, now California is way too expensive for the European market..

 

Raisins

The low and attractive prices for the South African Thompsons have moved some quantities. The surplus of last year has vanished and the smaller quantity of this year is close to sold.
We see first signs of increase of prices for these Thompsons. Goldens are well available (except jumbo) at stable prices.
California has lifted its prices for Thompsons as well but is still higher than South Africa.
The 2019 crop of the Turkish sultanas has been sold for over 90%, helped by the weak Turkish Lira in combination with a crop of around 300K ( vs 2018 at 250K).
The new crop is developing well, though still one and a half month to go till the harvest starts. We expect serious pricing for the new crop in a couple of weeks, but this will be higher than last week’s level.
The Chilean raisin market is somewhat in the doldrums, now most buyers have received the first new crop shipments and demand is slow.

 

Nuts

Walnuts

California seems to become the victim of its own success: yearly increase in sales at higher levels did farmers decide to plant more walnut trees.
However this year not only China has slowed down imports – one of the main markets – due to COVID-19 next to Mr. Trumps trade policy with China reulting in bilateral high import duties.
On top: the expected record crop 2020 has certainly contributed to the substantial drop in prices for Californian walnuts.
The good news for the Californians is the June shipment figure (+ 15%), which looks to help to get a manageable carry-out at least.
Meanwhile we see a little optimism at seller’s side, now first speculative offers for new crop have been slightly increased.
Chile has shipped less compared to last year, but prices remain stable, certainly for the higher end qualities.