CATZ INFO DRIED FRUITS AND WALNUTS
At the end of the year we always have a short look back, but most and for all give some thoughts about the coming year.
We can obviously not neglect the war in the Ukraine, with useless bombing of citizens and becoming a tragedy where at the end there only will be losers from a human point of view.
In the Western world it looks like COVID has been downgraded to a normal winter-virus, but in Asia it certainly affects still the live of the people though it seems improving as well.
Crops have been good in general, leaving a problem to market these bigger volumes in markets with high inflation rates and slow demand, causing a downward trend in pricing in some of the products in our scope of business.
For the coming year, producers can only hope demand picks up, which in theory could be a justified expectation, as dollar is somewhat weaker, inflation stabilizing and meanwhile prices for some commodities are at historical low levels, which must make it possible to move more volume.
Another subject for the future is the increasing workload to manage all quality- and regulation issues. Brussels is continuously decreasing the levels for residue levels – sometimes without leaving the industry time to adapt – and of course somewhere the bill must be paid for all these controls.
Of course for us as consumers a good thing to be protected, however our politicians should realize this choice will not make life cheaper and perhaps in some cases a more realistic and harmonized regulation system would be better.
We already notice prices for the European market are higher as the risks for rejections are getting too big for non-European shippers.
Another trend now almost every company is certified for various quality requirements, will be the focus on our eco-footprint.
We do expect in (near) future on top of the pile of documents for each consignment, also a certificate stating f.e. the CO²-emission needs to be added.
Times are changing and we think our children will be happy with this, however somewhat more realistic approaches from the authorities would be necessary to allow producing and bringing food to the markets also in the future.
As at the end of the year most of us are more busy with logistic issues, let us give you below only some short lines about the different products.
The prices for apples remain firm. Factories in China are still restricted in their production due to the rigid measurements of the Chinese government with regard to COVID. Exported quantities are less and the industry cannot afford to keep too much apples in cold store with current energy prices.
We therefor expect as off this summer a serious shortage for apple products from China.
The high prices for apricots did decrease the export of Turkish apricots, which more or less balanced demand and (smaller) supply this season.
The Turkish Lira remains weak – though stable in the last weeks – and prices with the help of a weaker dollar against the euro are softening somewhat for the European buyers.
We expect a change in the market in spring, when the bloom for the 2023 crop will be there and depending on the weather circumstances, the expected yield of this new crop will guide the price-levels.
Unchanged situation: demand is heavy due to the coming Asian festivals and holidays.
Workers are less restricted to stay home due to sanitary restrictions and production may increase gradually, however for time being this will only restore the backlog in production, as after ordering it still takes a few months before goods can be shipped.
Now crop turned out to be satisfactory, we see prices ease somewhat.
Pears are sold also in the second hand meanwhile and we have to wait till the new crop from South-Africa, which will not arrive before May/June in Europe.
Papaya remains a headache in Thailand with all shippers limiting quantities per container and only book if combined with other products.
Other products well available and stable pricing.
Chile is selling out their (usual) last containers. Meanwhile market quiet and waiting for the crop 2023, which will be harvested in Jan/Feb 2023. California still high in prices and mainly selling to domestic and non-European markets, apart from some very loyal European buyers.
Türkiye still struggling with a huge crop and less exports. For this reason they do not succeed to increase the prices. Perhaps TMO (read Mr. Erdogan) will invest even more money in the agricultural population in change for support at the coming elections….
South-Africa will start harvesting next month and crop and conditions so far so good. With goldens completely sold and a shortage on the European market, these prices will certainly open firmer, whereas there is still some carry out of Thompsons, so for these we do not foresee an increase.
California facing the competition from the cheaper South African Thompsons has no possibility to increase prices further, though selling still well domestically and to other (non-EU) markets.
Chile still has some left overs as well, which are for sale at flexible prices in view of the coming new crop early 2023.
The Californian walnut prices are at historical low levels. Shipments are behind last year (to date) but November shipments increased somewhat.
Apart from genuine light material, which has become more scarce due to sunburn, there are sufficient walnuts available. We do expect light material to become more expensive, where darker domestic material may still could lower a bit.
Question mark will be, whether farmers will see a future in walnut growing. When they will start pulling trees next year, it cannot be a surprise the market will turn, as the crop 2023 will be smaller anyhow. If also the bloom will be disappointing, this will also be a game changer.
We cannot but advise to have a close eye on the situation and not miss the momentum if this scenario develops as such.
Last but not least: may we wish you a Merry Christmas and hope for a peaceful and healthy 2023.