CATZINFO – DRIED FRUITS & WALNUTS

Not the market developments, but the logistic delays are the number one topic at the moment.
Started in Asia, now all over the world there is (or seems) to be an imbalance of container equipment, which looking at the mega-profits of the shipping lines, is for them a blessing, but for the customers a real nightmare.
Not only the at least quadrupled freight rates are a problem, but this can be alleviated by sharing the burden between partners in these exceptional circumstances,
however the delays in some cases up to 6 weeks or more cannot be split obviously.
The Turkish Aegean Exporters Association already published a letter, to ask for understanding and not to blame the shippers.
This all brings a lot of negative energy to explain for example to an industry which is having contracts with retail-customers and simply has delivery obligations.
The dollar and euro were pretty much stable towards each other in the recent days.


Dried Fruits

Apples
The market unchanged with slightly increasing prices as usual in this time of the year. Apples now must come from the cold stores, making it more expensive.
Also good quality, resulting in a uniform and bright product is getting scarcer.

Apricots
More and more farmers and traders are holding back their product from the market as they expect firmer prices.
Reasons being some smaller sizes are already almost not available and secondly the new crop is expected not to exceed the 100K harvest due to the night frost early April.
To date about 73K tons have been shipped, leaving a relatively small carry-out till the new crop.

Banana chips
Obviously to get the containers shipped is one of the main problems from the Philippines. This results in low stocks in Europe as supply cannot match demand.
Prices consequently remain very firm for stock positions, if at all available as incoming loads hardly touch the warehouse.
The prices in origin are actually also rather firm – not only because of the relatively high freight rate on top of a ‘cheap’ product and weighing in heavily,.
but also because shippers are confident the increasing economies when worldwide things return to ‘normal’ after COVID-19 will boost demand further.
Domestic demand for fresh bananas is already very strong.

Cranberries
Be prepared for some price increases, both from origin as in Europe.
The United States government has bought close to 4000 tons of cranberries to support the industry.
Most important reason for a higher price will be the increase of the general import duty to 25% per June 1, 2021 as it looks now.
There will not be anymore an exception for buyers using the product as an ingredient or mixing, which at the moment was 0%!
Also the high tariff when using or selling it as a single product will be subject to this higher tariff, resulting in about 7% increase

Pineapple/Papaya/Mango
Pineapple and papaya remain short and prices continue to be firm. Also, in this case logistic issues cause shortages on the European spot market with firm pricing.
Other fruits stable, except ginger and coconut which are getting short and prices increasing.

Pears/Peaches
After the delays in the harvesting and producing, now that the goods are ready, shippers cannot get the cargo booked due to lack of containers.
It is not as bad as in Asia, but delays have occurred. As for pears with a complete empty market over here, the late arrivals are another problem for dried fruit re-packers.
Pears are completely sold in origin and also most importers already sold the limited allocations they received.
For peaches there are some small lots available, but these will be sold within short as well.

Prunes
It seems prunes will be the main problem of the coming period.
Chilean shippers repeating for weeks now, they first wish to see the incoming goods and after calibration they may offer. Some already announced not to offer other than their loyal customers.
Indication of prices – as expected with 50/60% less quantity – have increased tremendously.
One might think of alternatives like California, but they had a short crop as well and prices even higher than the indications of Chile;
or from France, but an exceptional late frost in April has severely damaged the coming crop, so most packers withdrew as well.
With also Argentina having a small crop, the main players worldwide cannot supply enough quantity which is considerably short for total demand and can only come in balance at higher prices.

Raisins
The outlooks for the Turkish sultana crop 2021 are positive. The risk of frost has vanished and has hot only some local orchards.
Shipment of the current crop is about 15% less than the previous season. With a greater (300K) than predicted (271K) crop 2020, the carry out will be rather big.
Market is calm and will remain easy till May 17th due Bayram – the end of Ramadan period -and to severe COVID restrictions in Turkey.
The South African shippers report to be well sold and prices for the remaining quantities of the mainstream products are firming.
For the less popular varieties some discounted prices are to be negotiated.
Chilean prices are stable, with the exception of the jumbo goldens, which are becoming very scarce and expensive.
Californian prices have been lifted since the news of a smaller crop was known. At the moment prices are moving sidewards.


Nuts

Pistachios
Not only the frost in Iran has caused an upward correction for prices of all origins, but also the stronger Iranian currency (+10%) after the atomic negotiations.
California is reporting more demand from China/Asia, where demand is picking up again.
It is too early to do any prediction of the crop 2021.

Walnuts
The Californian market is unchanged. Higher end Chandler halves are very scarce and the gap with domestic material is unusually big.
We expect a real shortage on Chandler halves (40%-up) after the summer to bridge demand till new crop 2021 will arrive and recommend to have a look at your needs for these particular gradings.
Chile has sold well on their hand-cracked extra lights and lights, where prices remained at premium levels, but accepted by the buyers.
As remaining quantities for this top segment are meanwhile limited, we expect a firm trend till the end of the season ‘21 (Apr/May 2022).
Walnuts from Eastern Europe becoming scarce. Moldova near to being sold out and also the largest producer Ukraine faced with limited availability.
As a consequence, prices firmed significantly and a long period until the new crop without new supply is expected.
More information about the development of the new crop will follow during June/July.