Now summer holidays are almost finished for most of us, we resume our CatZinfo.
Since our last report early July quite some changes have been noticed.
First of all the firming of the dollar against the euro by about 5%, which was one of the element making food in general more expensive.
Another element was the higher price for energy, which not only made production costs higher, but also (road) transport and storage, which obviously must be calculated in the final price.
All together we can speak about a period of inflation, which does not support the trust of consumers and industries for the future at the moment.
Demand for some of our “plant based” products however continues and producers reluctant to cover lately now are in need for spot material, which gives at least some activity in the market.
Meanwhile the new crop on the Northern hemisphere is coming from the fields (or close to) and encountering for some products reluctant buyers, first wishing to clear current stocks (f.e. walnuts). Other product are actually in need and requested to be shipped on first available vessel (f.e. tropical fruits and banana chips)
It is hard to give a general trend all over, as there is a huge difference in supply and demand for each of the products.


Dried Fruits

Apples

First shipments of the new crop apples from China will leave in October and arrival subject routing of the ocean vessel, which can take nowadays up to 6 to 8 weeks to arrive in Rotterdam.
The high temperatures during the blossom period have caused some damage to the Gala and Qinguan varieties.
Furthermore less planting areas are available. Also the rain earlier in the year caused damage. Carry out of crop 2021 was minimal.
When the apple juice factories will start buying as well, it is expected prices will go up even further.

Apricots
With harvesting actually done, the crop figure will indeed be around the 80K, which is same quantity as exported in the previous season.
Hence taking into consideration rejected quantities unsuitable for processing, we will have another year with less apricots available.
The logic economical law will consequently lead to firm prices.
On the other side we have a very weak Turkish Lira against the dollar, which softens the increase in the export prices in dollars.
Another economic effect of the apricot market is the inflation in Turkey (80%!)
In this situation the farmers see their apricots as a more stable asset as selling it against the Turkish Liras, which devaluate each day.
As a result quantities brought to the market in Malatya are minimal and causing exactly what farmers hope for: higher prices.
From the point of quality, the fruit is of a somewhat lower quality and sizing of most fruit is nr. 4 and smaller.
As prices for natural and organic have actually been lower than the conventional material, in total, farmers produced less unsulphered and organic fruits, so these will do a premium again this year.

Banana chips
The situation for banana chips is changing. Not only a smaller supply of the green bananas is causing a higher price, also an increasing demand for the winter period on the Northern Hemisphere and the ‘festival” season in Asia and ME.
On top energy prices needed to heat the coconut oil to bake the banana chips is an increasing factor, but also for transportation this may result in higher costs.
Most shippers are withdrawn with offers for the longer period and only willing to accept prompt shipments at increasing prices.

Cranberries
With stocks in Europe at a low level, prices have firmed considerably (and the firm dollar is contributing to this obviously).
The outlook for the new crop is okay with somewhat more optimistic news from the United States and somewhat more reservations for the Canadian crop.

Currants
The Greek industry has set the prices for the raw material at a higher level, forcing the exporters to ask a higher price, taking in consideration their production costs on top. As such prices for new crop have firmed considerably already if not because demand for the Christmas period, traditionally supplied from the first shipments new crop, is causing anyhow some firming in the market.
The crop will be slightly higher than last year (20/22K tons) but with almost no carry out, shippers are confident they can achieve better prices, also forced by the higher prices from the farmers.
We may well advise you to have a look at your needs for the first period of the new season.

Pears/Peaches
The SA crop and season is actually done. Except for some minor quantities, all product is either shipped already or under contract.
Pears will be short again this year; peaches will be available without problems so far.

 Pineapple/Papaya
Pineapple will be well available this year and prices will be stable. Papaya will be another headache this year as again a shortage is awaited in an already rather empty market. Shippers do not offer full loads so far, only in combination with other products.

Prunes
The Californian crop has started a couple of weeks ago and the industry is optimistic to have a slightly better crop than last year. Expectation are about 80/85K.
The gap with the Chilean products may decrease somewhat, but the zero import duty and the advantage of a weaker Peso against the dollar is making the Californian product still way more expensive. Nevertheless there are still die-hard fans for this origin.
Chilean sellers in this stage after the crop is meanwhile completely in, are executing their usual selling policy: the “last” one or two FCL are still for sale.
Smaller sizes seems to become scarce and offers are mainly for the 60/70 and larger.

Raisins
SA is completely sold on the goldens and offers have to come from second hand at increasing firmer prices. With Ramadan demand to be supplied from this crop, we may see some further heating of the market for goldens.
South African Thompsons are still well available and prices remain at opening prices earlier this year for time being.
The Californian crop is estimated to be somewhat larger (+10/15%) and we see prices stabilize, but still well over the South African prices.
Chili is offering still Thompsons and flames at steady levels. Goldens are problematic here as well.
Turkiye is expecting another good crop and even president Erdogan has been brought on stage to announce higher buying prices by TMO. Perhaps elections in 2023 may be a reason……
The new crop will be well over 300K tons and taking into consideration somewhat more than 200K tons have been exported of the crop 2021, it needs no explanation, they will have to move a lot of sultanas. Whether this will be achieved with higher prices is questionable. Rumours about rains turning sultanas more dark are around so some caution is needed.

Nuts

Walnuts
The objective estimate of 720K tons is brought as somewhat disappointing as the first estimation was set at 790K tons. However compared to last year’s crop it is only 1% less. With still a substantial carry-over prices for new crop are very modest, which is needed to
move another massive crop.
The high temperatures at the moment however may limit the coming crop somewhat, so a prudent buying for the first shipments may be advisable.

Chili has also problems to market their crop in this weaker market.
Demand remains slow and there is general consensus it makes no sense to discount heavily, as demand is not there and will only bring losses. The crop is committed by 60/70% so there is no real need to get nervous.