It is almost all about logistics (if not COVID)!
The delays in shipments do not exclude any origin in a time new crops must arrive in time.
Not only for the crucial holiday period, but also to fill the pipeline of many empty markets.
The arrogance of the shipping lines however makes it hard to have any influence
on these slow arrivals of the containers desperately needed to fulfill the needs of the buyers.
Where many thought (and hoped for) the rates would soften, the only hopeful sign is a stabilization of the high tariffs.
Demand for spot material is heavy to bridge the requirements and keep production going and consumer demand satisfied.
The crops on the Northern Hemisphere are in now and crop sizes are known with mostly somewhat disappointing crops with
an extraordinary small apricot quantity in Turkey as most striking example.
The Turkish Lira is another remarkable element in our field of business. After gradually weakening, in the last weeks, it almost collapsed with a 10% drop within 24 hours against the dollar, but meanwhile recovered somewhat.
For the Turkish exporters it is hard to make offers, not being able to fix revenues under these volatile circumstances.
The stronger dollar obviously makes prices for the European buyers more expensive.
Arrivals of the Chinese apple products cannot keep pace with the high demand in Europe.
The continuous delays in the last months have caused a shortage in Europe with premium prices for spot material.
Demand for spot positions is substantial, but stocks are low and consequently holding the market firm.
Meanwhile this has of course become known in China as well and prices firming in origin as well.
We come close to the point Turkey has not much to offer anymore. Bearing in mind the new crop will not be available until August 2022 and alternatives are hardly existing, we may see some hard times ahead for those not covered and having contractual obligations. A slight positive element might be the weaker Turkish Lira, but if nothing available…., this remains theory. Also some breaches of contract have been reported.
We expect a difficult period ahead and though prices firm, covering may be painful, but we see for time being not much improvement in pricing.
The banana chips market remains firm. Not only because of the high freight tariffs, but also because of the situation in the Philippines.
COVID measurements limit the production as well as the supply chain domestically for the green bananas.
Also substantial interest for the Asian Festival period is triggering the prices and as needed for early 2022 its demand is competing with requirements from other continents,
thus driving up prices.
We would recommend to have a look at your needs at least till summer 2022.
The somewhat disappointing crop in Northern America has increased prices meanwhile. The USA crop has been the worst since more than 10 years!
The good news is the partial suspension of the high import tariff for USA cranberries has been continued after the agreement between the EU and USA in the Boeing/Airbus discussions.
Prices for the tropical dehydrated fruit remain rather stable in origin.
The main issue however is the disruption of the shipments. Not only tariffs remain high, but also the lack of containers and consequently the extended shipments are becoming a headache.
Stock are running low and with the winter months ahead demand is growing.
Prices for prompt deliveries hence remain firm and we see not yet light at the end of the tunnel.
As the remaining quantities from South Africa are not suitable for export, the season is over.
It is hard to say anything concrete on the new crop, but carefully speaking we hear the forecast are somewhat better.
Mind you the short crop of 2021 has resulted in an empty market at the moment and first shipments will be in high demand.
It needs no explanation what this will do for the opening prices.
Offer from Chile meanwhile have gone – except for the well-known odd container. In Europe small sizes are not available anymore.
We now have to wait for the new crop, but this will become only available in Mar/Apr 2022 and arrival earliest in May.
An alternative for desperate buyers might be the California origin, but even higher priced, or less known (an d appreciated) qualities from Eastern Europe, though they know also about the worldwide shortage…..
Certainly with the current rate of the Turkish Lira the sultana prices cannot but called attractive. Way below the Thompson seedless prices, for which South-Africa meanwhile completely sold and Californian prices almost the double(!), the Turkish product might be called a bargain.
With a good crop they struggle however to move enough quantity for time being, but we are sure, once the stocks of other origins are gone and alternative products like Thompsons are that expensive, interest for the Turkish sultanas will return and firm prices.
It could be an idea to take some position in a product for the moment being by far the cheapest dried fruit!
Slowly we are looking forward to the crop n the Southern Hemisphere, where weather conditions are positive and a good crop seems to be ahead.
However with still a couple of months to go before harvesting and drying, much can happen still.
Demand for Californian walnuts remains dull in origin as buyers waiting for the contracted first shipment, which are (surprise) in delay due to rolled over shipments and extended transit times. For sure the Californian crop is smaller as we know now, but due to the rains earlier a larger part of the crop had to be downgraded to domestic or industrial material and has to be sold at discounted prices.
Prices for spot Europe material are firm as hardly anything available yet in anticipation of the first arrivals new crop, which are mostly committed as well.
Chile has shipped to date about 13% more, with remarkably strong increase for in shells. Higher end shelled material is – also caused by the Californian short position on the spot – difficult to find.
Being not an exception, first arrivals from Eastern Europe came and will come in later than usual.