CATZINFO – DRIED FRUITS & WALNUTS

In our last CatZinfo we usually have some reviews of the past year.
We think this year it is better to emphasize  more on the future as many words have been spent meanwhile to the pandemic.
If we restrict ourselves to the business we noticed total consumption did not change dramatically.
We saw a change from foodservice to retail due to the lockdowns and problems in the supply chain, due to logistic disruptions.
Once more it became evident: strong partners are needed to absorb these interruptions and take care of a steady supply.

For the future we must hope the vaccine will bring back life to normal proportions, so we can have personal contact again, travel, go out for lunch and hug your parents or children.
Though business has been as usual in the last period, we expect at least for the coming months an increase of logistical problems.
The lack of container equipment in Asia and to a lesser extend in California, will not be over at once, as it will take months to get in a state of equilibrium.
An unforeseen consequence was the increase of the freight rates from these areas. Tariffs tripled and in some cases if multiplied by 4 or 5 times.
Needless to say such substantial increases do affect the final price, though with the current weaker dollar it is softened somewhat.
With this in mind we do not expect ‘easier’ markets in the near future for products from especially the Asian continent.
Another issue will be the consequences of the Brexit. Up to now it is not known whether there will be a hard exit or a deal, so it makes not yet sense to speculate.
We also foresee a further importance on regulations from Brussels, as well as from the increasing requirements from the industries and retail for documentation.
Logical in a time with increasing attention for food safety, though sometimes one wonders what it brings to know the country of origin of additives like for example sulphur or citric acid, other than tick the box.
Now we have all these specifications, which document each product up to micro-details, we will see a further focus on sustainability and CO²-footprint.

This will bring new challenges, for which our organization is ready to take up these new issues, as we recognize the importance.
Our renewed BRC AA-level and well-staffed Quality Department support this direction already, next to our over 160 years of experience and reliability.
Our enthusiastic team is ready for 2021 and hope to serve you again.

We wish you a wonderful days and a healthy and prosperous New Year!

As the coming weeks we do not expect much activities with many taking a break, below find in short some remarks:

 

Dried Fruits

Apples
Slowly increasing prices, partly triggered by higher freight rates. Also shortage of apples in China is firming the market.

Apricots
Demand is slow and shipments to date decreased by about 12%. Prices largely depending on the volatile rate of the Turkish Lira against the US-Dollar.
All size still available, but with a short crop of 30% we may see some shortages towards the end of the season.

Banana chips
Next to the increasing prices for the scarce bananas, the extreme increase of the ocean freight has an enormous impact on the prices.
In spite of ridiculous tariffs one needs to pay, bookings are rolled over and if delay not more than one month, you are lucky!
Spot material in Europe none-to-zero and to a maximum of a few pallets if you can find.

Pineapple/Papaya/Mango
Logistic issue as well from Thailand. These influence prices as well. Pineapple did not soften as much as expected due to demand from the canneries.
Ginger is becoming ‘most wanted’ as supply very disappointing. Prices very firm.

Pears/Peaches
Spot material exhausted and everybody waiting for the new crop from South-Africa.

Prunes
Chilean shippers sold completely on small prunes and bigger sizes getting hard to find as well. We are at the end of the season and early January we know somewhat more about the new crop.
As arrivals will not be before April/May shortage in Europe will grow and market remains firm.

Raisins
Turkish sultanas well available and attractively priced. Crop was good and though minimum price paid by TMO is good for the farmers, the low Turkish Lira helps the export.
Iran is offering lower, but due to the political embargoes they cannot find the markets prepared to take larger quantities.
Californian prices firming also because South Africa seem to have moved their bigger stock of the last 2 season.
All eyes on the Southern Hemisphere are on the new crop. The harvest is expected to start in January.

 

Nuts

Walnuts
Californian walnut prices seem to have reached the bottom and first signs of more confidence with the exporters have been noticed.
With the current low dollar in combination of the low prices, reflecting the 780K tons record crop, shipments are up, and could have been even higher if enough containers were available to ship goods.
Due to these delays spot market in Europe just before Christmas is rather empty and sales are taking place at somewhat higher prices.
We expect the issue will not be the quantity as 780K is a lot of walnuts to move, but especially on light material (Chandler) supply may become an issue and we may see a two tier market for light and combo material.
Chile is sold on the top qualities like ELH hand cracked and waiting for the developments of the new crop. First speculative offers are a continuation of the previous levels.