CatZinfo

The SIAL fair in Paris was not as crowded as expected as we noticed and heard from many visitors.
Beforehand some decisions were postponed till after the fair, as buyers had hoped to get guidance for the future from various suppliers at SIAL.
However the forecasts for the coming period are rather vague as nobody knows what will happen.
The war in Ukraine and other geopolitical tensions in especially Asia (China/Taiwan – North Korea/South Korea) are today still unpredictable elements.
As well are the reinforced lockdowns in China at the moment disrupting the supply chain again.
The crops on the Northern Hemisphere are in and in general: so far so good.
The usual reservations from seller’s side (“too much rain during harvesting/drying or too much sun
causing sunburn”) did pass along meanwhile in an attempt to keep prices at least stable and move the good crops.
The dollar remains strong against the euro, not helping to mitigate the prices for the European buyers and trigger stronger demand.


Dried Fruits

Apples

This product is one of the few for which price increases are actual. Prices have firmed considerably due to lack of good material,
as rains in the approach of the harvesting. The new lock downs in China related to COVID, caused limited production capacity,
so shipments are slow and delayed as production simply closed. First factories already report to be fully booked on their production capacity till end of the year
for this reason and this may be prolongued if the restrictions for COVID in China will continue.
In combination with the firm dollar rate, it means substantial firmer pricing in euro’s and in view of low stocks in
China we do not foresee much chance for lower prices till the next season, as market will be dominated by second hand trading.

Apricots
The Turkish apricot market is influenced by two contrasting developments:
First of all demand/shipments are slow and the shipped quantity is lower tham last year, whereas the crop seems to be slightly better than last year.
According to economic laws this would lead to somewhat easier pricing.
However, on the other hand the Turkish apricot industry has to cope with an insane inflation, leading to increased production costs (labour, cartons, logistics).
These two elements are kept more or less in balance, also because farmers prefer to sit on their apricots as a safe value rather than the Turkish Liras in return when selling the product.
How long this situation will last, that is the question. However we do not expect a major change before the end of this year.
In June 2023 new elections will be held and untill that time the governement lead by mr. Erdogan will support the agricultural sector in return for their support at the elections.
Also the bloom around March could be a game changer depending on the weather conditions at that time.
All sizes are available and no quality issues reported so far.

Banana chips
The prices for bananachips are stable and thanks to the lower freight costs, quotations in euro are somewhat more friendly.
This could of course have been better, but the firmer dollar against the euro worked out the opposite way.
Shipments are still not yet on a usual frequency and delays occur, meaning (approved) spot material in Europe remains somewhat scarce.

Cranberries
The crop in USA and Canada is looking reasonable. Prices stabilizing at the moment.

Pears/Peaches
Last uncommitted quantities changing hands. As South-Africa already long time sold on pears, we may see some hick ups, bearing in mind
the new crop will not be available untill April/May 2023 in Europe. If any needs we recommend to cover.

Pineapple/Papaya
The situation for papaya is getting serious. Due to the floodings the total crop has diminished and have limited the available quanties for sale.
Shippers are either withdrawn or set a mximum of only a few tons per FCL, to be filled with other products.
Prices for papaya have increased, which makes the difference with pineapple products rather big, as pineapple is sufficiently available at attractive prices.
As papaya is only harvested once a year and new crop can only be shipped as off end Nov / early December, there will be again a serious shortage the coming season.
Also for this item we strongly recommend to have a look at your needs for the coming year in order not to run out of stock.
Other tropical products normal available.
Prunes
On prunes situation is rather quiet. The Californian new crop is still high priced and added with the 9,6% import duty not competitive with the
Chilean product, though still some buyers prefer the Californian origin.
In Chile last containers are for sale before factories will stop production for maintenance prior to the new crop to be harvested in Feb/Mar.
It is too early to discuss prices for the coming crop.

Raisins
Türkiye will have another quantitywise good crop of over 300K tons of sultanas. A bigger share will be darker (nr. 8) due to rains and we will see more of a premium for nr. 10.
Prices are still on a historical low level for longer time and actually in view of these figures one would expect a further decrease in view of the available quantity.
This might be the case for the darker material, but TMO is supporting the market and has announced to buy upto 100K tons at a higher price than the market – with the help
of mr. Erdogans “election bonus” – and same as for apricots, inflation is pushing costs up. So at the end we remain at same price level for quite some time now.
In California prices remain high compared to other origins, but apparently they find markets prepared to pay for it (certainly also in Europe where
some buyers prefer this originn.
South Africa has certainly a more attractive price level but with slow demand they have difficulties to sell out the 2022 crop.
For goldens the South-African sellers cannot always meet their contractual obligation and are either asking if they may downgrade the quality or swap these quantities
to the new crop. Needless to say goldens are really ‘gold’ at the moment.
Chile seems to be really sold on goldens these days, but certainly has some Thompsons and Flames for which they are willing to be more flexible.

 

Nuts

Walnuts
The worldwide increase of walnut production in combination of a sluggish demand has lead to relatively low prices for walnuts.
Prices for Californian walnuts have gone down in the last 2 years gradually and after the announcement of this year’s crop being equal to the ’21 crop,
slided even further. At the moment we see a stabilisation of prices, as due to the heat prior to harvest, light material has not been as abundant as usual.
Shippers are getting somewhat more reluctant to discount f.e. on light Chandlers. Nevertheless with tha lack of demand for walnuts at the moment,
sellers are certainly interested to hear proposals.
Chilean prices had to follow the lower levels from California as difference became too big. We now see a broad dicrepancy between the various
shippers depending on their need for liquidity.
East European crop is about to come onto the market but we think quoted prices will certainly also suffer from the current slow situation on the market.
In general we will not be surprised we will see next year a smallar acreage for walnut growing, as for some farmers it does not make sence to invest in harvesting.
So we may see a period of ‘tree pulling’ and switching of farmers to other crops.