CATZINFO – DRIED FRUITS & WALNUTS

We know it sounds like a broken record, but as we are daily faced with the logistic issues even getting worse, we cannot neglect the subject.
Not only did freight rates increase further, especially from Asian ports, but also delays are incredible.
Of course shipments never were as punctual as trains or planes, but nowadays planning is hardly impossible.
When finally shipped with some weeks of delays at absurd rates (to get a container on board) the voyage can take another 3 to 4 weeks longer than the usual transit time.
The most important letter in “ETA” has become the “E” of expected, meaning actually ‘far from sure’.
The crops on the Northern Hemisphere are coming into their final stage and so far no major problems to report, except perhaps for the French prunes, which suffered from late frost.
The crops for from the southern part of the world are in and this year’s most problematic crop will be the prunes from Chile.
The fruits have a too high moisture content due to the rains and can only be dried very difficult, meaning severe delays of the first shipments.
Eyecatcher on the currencies is the Turkish Lira, which weakened another 3 to 4% since end of May.

 

Dried Fruits

Apples
Not much changes to report. New shipments coming in slowly for reasons as explained, which gives some tensions on the spot market.
Obviously the quadrupled freights have increased the prices on a landed Europe basis.

Apricots
First indication of the quantity of the new crop is a crop less than 100K.
A n unexpected frost on May 10 and 11, which has not been seen for decades in Malatya, hit the higher altitudes over 1500 meter. It is clear 2021 crop will be difficult with a short crop and nearly no carry over.
Also in this case freight rates may have a further negative influence, as meanwhile rates have already doubled compared to some months ago.
The harvest will start around mid-July.

Banana chips
It is difficult to say something about the actual market of banana chips. Though demand is picking up both domestically as internationally, prices may differ per shipper.
Due to the constraints in the shipments, some shippers are short of cash flow and willing to discount for prompt shipment (if at all it can be shipped prompt).
The stronger shippers remain firm on their pricing.
The market in Europe is ruled by the availability of the banana chips. Most loads do not touch even the warehouses of the importers and are carried forward immediately to the industries.
We see no improvement for the rest of the year and may advise to have a look at your needs until the winter period.

Cranberries
The meanwhile withdrawn possible higher import duties has led to some additional buying by some buyers, just to be sure.
Demand is slow now, but on the other hand available product is well committed. Prices at the moment stable.

Pineapple/Papaya/Mango
Pineapple is becoming somewhat problematic, with the usual attempt of the shippers only to allow partially filled containers with pineapple, added with other products.
Of course for all products the delayed shipments do take their toll and causing low stock for almost all items from Thailand.

Pears/Peaches
The first sailings from South-Africa are on their way. Especially for pears there will be a run on the first arrival as the market is really empty.
As the crop was rather small we expect a serious shortage in Europe after the summer with no availability at all.

Prunes
The difficult situation in Chile with the too moist prunes will become – next to some other – a problematic commodity for all of us.
Not only will there be a severe shortage of the Chilean prunes, but also other origins like France, California and Argentina have limited quantities available.
So far ‘unknown’ origins do see a sudden popularity for their product, but as in nowadays internet-world secrets last only a split second, they realize to have ‘gold’ in their hands.
Apart from this the limited quantities from these origins cannot offset the bulk from the big exporters.
Meanwhile prices firmed drastically and it may not come as a surprise some Chilean shippers already try to re-negotiate pending contracts or in worst case defaulted.
On top the first shipments still have to leave Chile, as those quantities finally processed, were taking more time to get dried within specifications.
Market is empty and many looking for some spot quantities, but this will mostly be in vain.

Raisins
The Turkish crop was by far bigger than expected as also many ‘fresh’ growers dis sell as ‘dried’ product, also because TMO offered unexpected high prices.
On the other hand exports fell by almost 15%, so the Turkish industry will have a serious problem to move a serious carry-out.
As the new crop looks to develop well, so in combination with a weaker Turkish Lira, also for Turkish sultanas we may see a softer undertone in the coming period.
South-Africa has sold well on the goldens and Thompsons as far as the mainstream products is concerned. Jumbo sizes are scarce and what is left are mainly the ’new’ varieties.
Chile is practically sold on the golden jumbo’s and this may become an issue at the end of this year. Jumbo Thompsons and flames are still well available.
Californian prices remain stable and is actually not much to report.

 

Nuts

Walnuts
The expectation the new Californian walnut crop might be somewhat smaller is good news for the industry, which still has to move a balance of a bumper crop.
These are mainly darker (domestic) walnuts and pieces.
Arguments for these (early) predictions are some nights with frost, pulling out some older trees less productive and though walnuts do not grow typically ‘alternate bearing’ it is expected trees will take some rest in the coming season.
Chandler 80% and alike are practically sold, so this may give some hectic in the transition period after the harvest 2021.
Fact is even in a ‘normal’ year first arrivals could catch the Christmas sales last minute, with today’s logistic issues it really will become a challenge.
Chilean prices firmed as well now the crop is not reaching the expected 150K tons but will be limited to 130K. Especially extra light material firmed.
As Eastern European crops are disappointing as well, we expect a firmer market in the coming months.