CatZinfo – Dried Fruits

General

With the majority of the crops on the Northern Hemisphere being harvested or close to be finalized, the final quantities will not bring any surprises.
With a few exceptions most crops are smaller, so this being one of the reasons we see in our scope of products – but also in general for food – bullish markets.
The other element for an upward tendency compared with last season are obviously the logistic rates.
With insane increases especially from Asia, the freight tariffs are for the cheaper products taking a share of more than 30%.
It means taking a position in a food product, one must also become a logistic expert.
At this moment the increases seem to level out, but we certainly do not yet see signs of weakness.
This may take some time before new capacity is available and the worldwide imbalance of available empty containers will be restored.
In spite of firmer prices, demand still exceeds supply, certainly in empty markets like for apricots and walnuts.
However, the challenge for the industries will be to have enough quantities shipped out, as out of stock means loss of consumption,
in which case a shortage and favourable prices for the farmers may change in non-shipped stocks in January…..
The dollar remains steady to strong against the euro, whereas the Turkish Lira reached a rock bottom record against the dollar with another 5% drop since our last CatZinfo..

Dried Fruits

Apples

The production areas for apples in China have been hit by some hails and storms in the last weeks.
As the harvest was not yet completed there has been some losses, which has moved up pricing even further next to the logistical causes.
Actual problem at the moment is the delay in shipments due to lack of containers, simultaneously with the exaggerated ocean freight prices.
We expect for the coming months a tight market in Europe and already experience strong demand for prompt deliveries as a sign of an empty market.


Apricots

The supply of Turkish apricots is considerably less than expected. New estimations are mentioning now only 60 to 70K tons.
With very strong shipment in the last months it would mean already now close to 30% of the crop has been exported already and even more committed.
Prices have more than doubled and continue to increase as hardly any quantity is brought to the local market.
Reason not only being this  short crop, but enforced by financially strong speculators, holding a substantial part of the crop in their hands and off the market.
With early engagements at a lower level, shippers have to fulfill these contracts, but have to cover now at strongly increased prices for raw material.
We hear already some shippers being in breach of contract either because they cannot buy apricots or some will choose for the short term profit…..

Banana chips

Where in Europe COVID-measurements at least do not limit productions anymore, in the Philippines there are still serious restrictions to travel,
so it is hard for workers to come to the factories, as well as exports for same reasons are limited by lack of people in the ports.
Supply of green bananas is tight, whereas the coming Asian Festival season is ahead and orders increasing to have product in time.
All this has firmed prices again in the last weeks and certainly for Europe with the slow shipments we may see a bottleneck in the supply chain,
with certainly for spot material premium pricing.


Pineapple/Papaya/Mango

Same as in the Philippines the restrictions for people to go out of their houses or town, causes a lack of workers in the fields and factories.
Workers have the choice to stay in the factory for weeks and make some money or stay at home with their family.
The result is a small output of the factories, with longer ordering times. On top once ready for shipments, bookings are rolled over and over,
simply due to lack of containers and space.
In practice it means ordering today means cross fingers shipment still will take place this year, so arrival earliest in February 2022.
it also remains to be seen if new announced floods will occur and to what extend thy will affect the crops and logistics.
Also here we foresee spot shortages on the various tropical dehydrated fruits and certainly recommend to look at your needs till early next year.


Pears/Peaches

The unshipped balances of contracts find problems as the remaining quantities in South Africa need more manufacturing to meet the standards.
As we had already a short crop especially on pears, this will mean even further supply problems. Mind you it will take at least another 6 to 7
months till the new crop will be available in Europe!

 

Prunes
The last quantities are changing hands for Chilean prunes at record prices.
Also the Californian supply is getting somewhat limited and even more expensive, as worldwide there is a shortage of prunes.
Had we hoped for some relief from France, over here the crop is disappointing as well and ‘new’ buyers have to wait for their turn.
We expect changes in the market only when the Chilean crop ’22 will be available and till that time unfortunately shall have to cope with a limited availability.


Raisins
The Turkish Ministry of Agriculture did for the one or other reason not announce an ‘official estimation’ about the crop.
Based on various sources on the spot, it will be safe to expect a total crop of around 300K, being of good quality.
Assisted by the current low Turkish Lira against the dollar, we cannot but say the level one can buy Turkish sultanas is attractive,
certainly compared to other origines and alternatives like Thompson raisins.
For sure TMO will try to push these prices up with their buying policy, so being somewhat ‘long’ may be a safe strategy.
South Africa has sold most of their main stream products like medium goldens and Thompsons.
What is left, is costing somewhat more money compared with a few weeks ago,
California has found the way up and their pricing for Thompsons is considerably higher than the South-African prices, which now are yet still a bargain.
Chile has still some quantities for sale, only a limited position for jumbo goldens.

Nuts

Walnuts
The increase of prices for Californian walnuts came to a standstill. The shippers fully enjoyed from the little panic with the buyers after the lower objective estimation.
In combination with the empty spot market in Europe and the expected delays in shipments, premiums were paid for the first shipments.
Now first needs are covered, buyers sitting back and waiting for the later periods. They first wish to see if enough product will be shipped. In case of lower shipment
figures they expect the Californians to get nervous and inclined for some promotional prices, as we see now already with some shippers.
For the prices in Europe there will not be much change till the end of the year. Available parcels will be sold easily in this empty market.
From Eastern Europe we hear positive news about quantity and quality, but offers are still on hold.
Chile is more or less sold and last quantities for the higher end products changed hands at increased prices, though the pipelines in Europe remain marginally filled.

15/10/2021