CATZINFO – DRIED FRUITS & WALNUTS

Though business more or less as usual, all seem to fade away nowadays in the light of COVID, elections in the USA, the earthquake (Turkey), typhoon Goni in the Philippines and Brexit, to name a few.
In Europe lockdowns have been imposed more heavily and this may play a role in consumption patterns of our products.
The uncertain outcome of the elections – at time of writing – may have impact on the dollar-rate against other currencies.
Also the rate of the Turkish Lira has fallen by over 10% in one month time. As Turkey is an important player in our playing field, this has consequences for the price levels globally as well.
Brexit as well is heading to an uncertain outcome as far as agreements on trade tariffs and other technical issues are concerned.
Another issue is the disruption of the shipment schedules worldwide and the unbalance of the availability of container equipment in some areas.
This may cause serious delays in a period buyers waiting or new crop goods well before the Christmas period.
The heavy typhoon Goni has devastated greater parts of the already vulnerable infrastructure on the Philippines, with suppliers of a.o. coconut and banana chips withdrawing offers for time being.
The new crops on the Northern Hemisphere are mostly in and first consignments already arrived or afloat, or last quantities taken in the warehouses.
We expect the last 2 months of 2020 – a year most wish to finish asap – will be hectic with many unchartered issues still to come.

 

Dried Fruits

Apples
The first shipments from China will be on the water these days, if shippers have been able to book shipping space and bookings are not rolled over to the next vessel.
On the spot stocks are getting tight and prices in the second hand remain firm.
Prices for new arrivals will be at same level, as the Chinese apple crops was not very heavy, due to early droppings of the fruits from the trees.

Apricots
The weaker Turkish Lira is largely compensating the rise of the export prices (in US-dollar or euro). Reason being the farmers holding back their stocks in anticipation of better prices they hope for.
TMO is still buying, though limited,  quantities in order to stabilize the market. Shipments are down year-to-date (1/8 – 31/10) by over 10%, partly because prices are higher and partly because of careful buying due to COVID.
Though shipments are down, mind you the crop is short as well, so in combination with TMO expecting to buy for a longer period, we do not see much perspective for a weaker market.
All sizes are still available.

Banana chips
On top of all problems the Philippine banana chips industry is encountering, the recent heavy typhoon Goni passed the country causing even more problems.
Most shippers have withdrawn their offers. Some are fully booked till early 2021 and one bigger shipper informed only to be able to ship as off Q2/21.
With the slow shipments, due to lack of product and longer shipping periods, the situation for spot material is as well a headache.
Prices have firmed considerably and industries desperately looking for additional quantities on the short term to meet increase demand from especially the retail.
We can only advise to have a look at your needs till spring next year, as problems in the Philippines for sure will not be solved in the next 4 to 5 months.

Pineapple/Papaya/Mango
Slowly the offers for pineapple and papaya are becoming more available, though shipments need some time before they will be on the water.
For this reason prices for spot material are still firm, in view of substantial demand for the seasonal period.
Ginger on the other hand has firmed considerably in price, due to lack of raw material. Prices increased by 30% for new contracts, if at all offered.
Strong demand from Asia, triggered partly by the said medicinal effects in this COVID-situation, has pushed up prices obviously with no sign of weakness till next crop (autumn 2021)

Prunes
With still half a year to go before the new crop prunes from Chile will be in Europe, the current ‘sold’ position in origin will undoubtfully bring a firmer market level.
Being sold already for the small sized prunes for a couple of weeks, now several shippers report to be sold completely. Some odd containers of course still available,
but the picture is clear. Worldwide it is of importance California is having it smallest crop since the last 5 years.
Though Californian prunes being of less importance for Europe because of higher pricing,  other markets have procured alternatives like Chilean prunes.
Also for this product we may well recommend to have a look at your needs till April/May next year.

Raisins
Turkey has shipped about 20% less since the beginning of the season compared with same period last year. TMO is buying heavily, which has lead of an increased pricing on the Boursa.
However the sliding rate of the Turkish Lira compensated for this increase, so export prices are pretty much the same and actually quite attractive compared to other sources.
Only Iran is offering cheaper, but the political restrictions to import from this country, have made this origin to an outsider in the market.
California finally succeeds to obtain better prices for their Thompsons. The crop was late by two weeks and the lack of sunshine due to the smoke of the fires has limited the dried quantities.
South Africa is looking at the new crop already, which is looking good for time being.
Being most probably somewhat later as well, it is expected farmers will opt for more sultanas and goldens rather than Thompsons, as drying of this type takes longer, so risky in a shorter drying period.
Meanwhile Thompsons from current crop are close to be sold completely and prices for the last loads have increased.

 

Nuts

Walnuts
Actually a lot of talking’s but market is quiet. Buyers covered for the coming period and waiting for the first new crop shipments from California to arrive in December.
Prices have eased even somewhat further and seem now to have hit the bottom. For sure the Californian marketing machine will do whatever is necessary to bring the prices to a higher level.
We may see after December an increasing market as (again) buyers may wait for too long – but understandable -,  in view of the weaker prices to reach the ultimate lowest offer.
Therefor we do not see much downside anymore and might be a good opportunity to take some partial covering for early 2021.