CATZINFO – DRIED FRUITS & WALNUTS

The crops on the Northern Hemisphere are close to be harvested and meanwhile the start has been made as usual with the Turkish apricots.
Focus of the trade is changing to these new crops, for which the outcome becomes more and more certain while approaching the harvest time.
On the other hand the continuing disruption of the logistic chain triggers the spot trade, as delayed shipments cause an active demand for immediate deliveries.
Many products are hardly available and the premium prices for spot positions support the prices of the first new crop offers.
The freight rates are far from calming down; on the contrary: levels are still increasing and simply said: the highest bidder gets his containers on board.
Another issue are the still increasing COVID-cases especially in Asia, causing a shortage of available workers in production and in the logistic chain.
This obviously does not help to speed up the backlog of orders and resulting in low stocks in Europe.
The dollar firmed lately, making prices in Europe to increase further.


Dried Fruits

Apples
The available quantities of the Chinese apples are coming to an end. Prices firming also because raw material must come from the more expensive cold stores.
On top – off course – the freight rates have added a substantial increase in pricing.

Apricots
The ‘official’ estimation of the Turkish crop has been set at 95K. This seems to be partly a political figure as first time in history it was announced by the Governor of Malatya.
This is about 10K less compared to last season. The carry out will be limited, so it is expected demand will be pushing up the prices, which we see already now.
Unofficial sources expect the crop to be somewhat larger and all sizes well available. Big question will be the official support price from TMO, which so far is unknown.

Banana chips
The banana chips prices remain steady to firm. Partly because of limited supply – also because of restricted production due to COVID-lock downs -, partly because of the insane freight rates.
Shipments continue to be slow and new arrivals hardly touch the importers’ warehouses as sold before arrival. Stocks remain non-to-zero and spot positions sold at premium prices.
Upwards price changes are highly expected as we are heading towards the peak season.

Pineapple/Papaya/Mango
The summer crop of pineapple is coming to an end. In the South the crop is down which forces the factories to buy from the North of Thailand, but transportation costs are higher.
Another issue is the limited production in the canneries, causing a lower supply of the core pineapple.
For papaya farmers partly changed over to other plants as domestic demand has been slow, so supply has decreased.
Prices remain stable, but as the yield will be structurally down, we will see further increases of prices once demand picks up again.

Pears/Peaches
SA is completely sold on pears except for some off-specification qualities. Most of the meanwhile arrived quantities have been allocated, so with another 8 to 9 months to go till the next crop will bring some relief, buyers in need of pears will have a hard time.
Peaches, though limited as well, are stable in pricing, but far more expensive than last season.

Prunes
Prunes seems to be the headache for the coming period. The disastrous crop in Chile causes serious shortages with shipments still coming in slowly.
The result is an almost empty pipeline in our market. Buyers once strict in sizing and qualities, tend to be much more flexible nowadays as long as they get prunes.
Alternatives from California are available, but Californian exporters also ‘read the newspapers’ and asking higher prices, which makes pricing for the European buyers,
including a 9,6% import duty, not a cheaper substitute. However, there is not much choice.
Also Eastern European sources are now accepted by some buyers, though limited quantities are available.

Raisins
In about 40-45 days, the new crop harvest will begin and people are focusing mainly on new crop developments.

For current crop price of raw material is stable, however as US$/Lira rate has increased quite a bit in last two months we have seen serious decrease in prices in US dollar in the market.

SA has some left overs in goldens and Thompsons – though limited – and prices remain steady.
California prices on the contrary have firmed as the industry sold well and exporters see no need to discount with the new crop ahead in the coming months.
Iran has lost its market share in Europe in spite of attractive pricing, but complicated import regulations because of the political punishment for Iranian exports, could only
seduce a limited number of buyers.
Chile has only limited quantities of jumbo goldens, but jumbo flames and Thompsons are well available.


Nuts

Walnuts
First indications of prices for the Californian new crop are around. As expected, prices for 80% light halves are much higher as this type is completely sold out of this year’s crop.
The Californians – not a surprise unsurprisingly expect to get a premium for the first shipments into an empty market. The lower half counts are somewhat more in line with the crop ’20 prices.
In spite of the record crop 2020 it has been reported this crop is over 90% committed already. With booming shipments, the Californian industry is confident, they will move the next – expected to be smaller – crop as well and most probably at higher levels than last year.
Now it is clear the Chilean crop is somewhat disappointing, prices have formed. Off course this also has to do with the unavailability of the light halves from California.
But also the hand cracked walnuts from Chile are close to be sold and last lots changing hand at higher prices.

Eastern Europe sold out on walnuts for this crop. Just some last loads of small pieces are being traded. First predictions about the new crop are expected during August.