CATZ INFO – DRIED FRUITS & WALNUTS

With regard to the logistic problems it seems the worst has yet to come.
What started as a disbalance of container in Asia, is now spread around the world.
From California to Chile; from Turkey to South-Africa, container bookings are rolled over by the shipping companies without mercy. This is causing serious delays, due to which some products are simply not available, as buffer stocks running empty with delay of several months! On top rates increased even more and to move a 40ft container from the Philippines is now costing over US$ 12.000,- and you must decide quickly.

Hot news from Brussels with regard to import duties for USA cranberries: the proposed general tariff of 25% as a ‘revenge’ for the USA import duties for European products has been suspended for time being.  It would have meant that the 0% tariff for further processing as well as the 17,6% for single use would have been replaced by the 25% tariff.

Further news about the OTA for dried fruits and pistachios, which levels probably will be lowered in the course of next year, though final voting by the member states still have to take place.

The dollar became somewhat weaker against the euro, whereas the Turkish Lira continues to weaken against the dollar.


Dried Fruits

Apples
The delays in shipments from China are ruling the spot market in Europe. Stocks are low and the pipeline is only filled slowly. Also we are getting to the end of the season and new contracts become costly because they must be taken from apples in cold store.
It is yet too early to say something about the new crop, moreover the Chinese information about the development and size of the crop cannot be called transparent.

Apricots
Total shipments to date are about 75K mtons, being about 10K less than previous season for the same period. The frost in the higher regions about two weeks ago did not seriously affect the coming crop. The market is quiet, though prices remain firm as stock are in limited hands and the expected crop of 100K is believed to be marketable.
Also shipment from Turkey are subject to delays due to container shortages and driving up freight costs. We expect to see some shortages on the spot market till end of the season and may well advise to have a look at your needs till autumn.

Banana chips
It sounds like a broken record, but getting shipments out of the Philippines is the basic problem at the moment. Also the prices for the ocean freights became ridiculous, but it is either accepting or have no product. In these extraordinary circumstances we think it is justifies all parties take part of the burden. The price increase for coconut oil – a substantial part of the cost price – may firm prices again. Certainly in Europe the minimal stock positions cause a premium pricing for spot material.

Cranberries

Now the increase of the retaliatory import duty for time being has been suspended the market may relax somewhat. The total supply this year was smaller and being the reason prices firmed somewhat since beginning of the season.

Pineapple/Papaya/Mango

The market for the tropical fruit is rather flat for the pineapple and papaya.
Shippers have problems with the space in their warehouses as ready product cannot be shipped out because there are no containers available to ship to Europe. Consequently demand for fresh fruit is lower in origin, but on the other hand in Europe second hand market is firm as stocks over here are limited.
Especially for quantity wise smaller products like mango, ginger, coconut for example, prices are firming also because of limited availability in Thailand.

Pears/Peaches
On top of the limited quantity of pears coming from South-Africa, the quantities coming in from the new crop coming in much slower than expected. Together with a run on available ocean going equipment, first new crop shipments will arrive most probably a couple of week later than usually. With a complete empty market in Europe, this is not good news.

Prunes
There are not yet signs the situation on prunes will improve. The majority of the shippers is holding back on offers as still wish to be 100% sure what they will get in. Also the rains have caused a higher moisture, so it becomes rather complicated to dry the prunes below the usual maximum of 32%, causing delays of course. If we add the problematic shipments – which Chile is no exception to face – we hope first shipments to leave Chile in June.
One can imagine what this has done to prices – if at all an offer is available – but a rough idea: they doubled and we may not have seen the end….

California is not really an alternative yet, as they also face a short crop, with prices (including import duty of 9,6%) still above the Chilean levels.

Raisins
The prices for Turkish sultanas are moving along the rate of the Turkish Lira. TMO has still about 60K in hands and trying to sell, however the offered price is not supported. Reason being a slow market – shipments close to 30K tons less compared to last season. On the other hand it is expected the new crop will not be that big like last year. So it is a kind of Mexican stand-off and we cannot but advise to watch the developments closely.

For the South-African raisins prices have a firm undertone. Thompsons meanwhile have firmed and goldens are getting limited.

Californian prices are stable, but way higher than the South-African origin.

Chilean prices for flames are back to last year’s levels, but for jumbo goldens the material is restricted for good coloured and sized material.  Prices remain high for this particular product.


Nuts

Pistachios
Iranian prices are firming after the frost in April has hit the developing crop 2021 severely. Though unconfirmed, we hear about 50% of the crop has been hit. The smaller quantity from Iran, will certainly also push up the prices for the Californian product.

Walnuts
Slowly the Californians are becoming optimistic they will move the greater part of this season’s record crop and a manageable carry out will be obtained.
To date shipments are up by 16% but April ’21 shipments are up 35%, though part of it is the delayed shipments for earlier contracts due to the lack of container equipment.
So exporters are confident and this may well hint to a firmer market towards the end of the season. The inshells and light coloured are meanwhile hard to find and prices firmed strongly. What is left are mainly combo (domestic) darker colours and lower halve counts or pieces.

Chile has also sold well and the higher end qualities are already coming to an end in view of free available quantities.  Prices – though already much higher than Californian – firmed even further and have been accepted.

Situation in Eastern Europe unchanged as availability still really limited. Consequently, prices are firming towards the end of the season. If still volume to be covered, we advise to take action shortly.