CatZinfo – Dried nuts

The trade is focusing on the new crops from the Northern Hemisphere.
The trend of increasing prices for the crops has continued. For apricots and walnuts prices have increased substantially in the last weeks.
Increasing post-COVID demand in combination with disappointing crops results in bullish markets.
More than ever this season will show the advantage of strong and trustworthy contract partners. Did we already see contract failures for Chilean prunes,
it will not be difficult to fill in the next products that will suffer from scoundrel sellers choosing for the short term profit.
On top we have the logistical issues: did we mention in our latest CatZinfo a tariff of US$ 15.000,– for a container shipped from Asian ports,
this week we are getting close to US$ 20.000,–! It is obvious, this accelerates the pricing on a landed Europe base considerably as well.
The other problem is to get the crops physically shipped: the imbalance of containers worldwide and shortage of shipping capacity will cause serious delays.
Certainly for the later crops like walnuts it will of eminent importance to have your cargo on board, but we fear many containers will be ‘rolled over’…….
The Turkish Lira weakened by over 5% against the US-dollar in the last weeks and is back at the lowest level we saw in June as well.


Dried Fruits

Apples

Most shippers switched to offering only on a FOB-basis in view of the continuously changing – read: increasing – freight rates.
Prices for apples are steady at the moment,  but with the additional freight costs we end up way higher than last year.
With stocks already rather low in Europe, we may see as well a serious shortage in the coming months in view of the limited shipping capacity.


Apricots

Though initially the Turkish crop was only short by 15% compared to last season as far as the estimations were known.
Less quantity so prices increased already, but no panic at that time.
However in the last weeks the market exploded, with prices increasing almost overnight by 40 to 50%!
Some objective factors are that the crop is actually even somewhat shorter than expected and farmers have chosen more for natural apricots in view of last year’s premium.
(So natural apricots are now cheaper). Next to this a bigger part of the stocks are in the hands of strong people who hold the apricots off the market, causing an artificial shortage.
As many shippers have traditionally sold already for the first shipments, there is some panic to cover. Also American and European buyers need to cover for their retail contracts
for the Christmas period. Last but not least: the market was empty at the end of the previous season, so shipments in the first month of the crop was a stunning 9000 tons already.
All this is of course a cocktail for a rather firm market.
We are of the opinion the market is now somewhat overheated and we think covering only partially – if necessary – might be a wise strategy.
Somewhere there must be some apricots and situation is not like in 2014, when there was only 6000 tons available and prices reached almost 5 digits per ton.

Banana chips

Prices for bananachips are subject to the freight cost increases, which are relatively a bigger part of the final price.
The basic pricing of the bananachips is steady.

Currants
It is still rather quiet on the currant market, as there will be enough currants to meet the usual demand.
First shipments of the new crop from Greece have left the port.


Pineapple/Papaya/Mango

Various shippers have problems fulfilling their contracts in time, as due to COVID-measurements factories are running slowly with limited workers present.
Some already announce new contract cannot be shipped earlier than December onwards.
As due to this demand for fresh materials is also lower, prices eased somewhat in Thailand, however this is completely offset by the logistic increases.


Pears/Peaches

Situation unchanged: SA completely sold except for some less popular peach sizes and qualities.
We think last lots on the spot-market will change hands at premium prices.

 

Prunes
Prices from Chile for the last available loads of prunes are working out almost at the levels of Californian prunes.
With the new crop from Chile only in Q2/22 available there will be some headache for those not sufficiently covered.
A usual reaction to use less prunes and more other fruits (apricots, pears etc) in mixes does not work at the moment as these are expensive as well.


Raisins
There is still no ‘official’ crop estimation for the Turkish crop, which is unusual late. The rumours are about a slightly lower crop, but with a serious carry out there is no need for rushing.
Early September TMO has announced a slightly higher buying price compared to last year. This week they announced to improve the paying terms and buy whatever is offered.
Clearly to support the market, in which prices can be called attractive for the buyers. We think we will gradually see some ‘news’ from the Ministry of Agricultural Affairs as well as further
announcements from TMO, which will be aimed to lift the prices.
South Africa has some leftovers mainly for the bigger sizes. Medium Thompsons have been sold except for an odd container. Delays in shipments cause some shortages on the spot in Europe.
Chile is comfortably sold, but as usual they hae some ‘last’ containers to offer. A serious shortage on Jumbo Goldens seems to be realistic this time.
California is maintaining the higher levels and with SA sold on medium sized Thompsons, they will not be inclined to discount much.


Nuts

Walnuts
The lower estimate of 670K tons (inshell equivalent) as expected caused a firm market.
The Califonian shippers are rather confident they can move this quantity easily and to be honest, they have some arguments.
With a solid August shipment figure (a record 32K tons for the month of August) the total shipments reached 760K tons for the total season ‘20/21.
So the expected 670K justifies the higher prices, certainly taking also in account the empty markets worldwide for the higher half counts and light material.
However the big challenge will be to get the product shipped.
If sold product cannot be shipped due to the limited shipping space, this is not only a problem for the buyers without product, but also for the shippers stuck with product.
For sure the missed sales will not be followed by new orders, but rather by selling first the late arrivals.
The higher prices from California have boosted demand for Chilean product, where the limited positions became all of a sudden competitive in pricing,
but obviously meanwhile firmed.
Eastern European crops will be available in the next month and may bring some relief for certain markets.