News

March Shipment Report – Almond Update

The total shipments have been 193.945.114 lb. versus 178.190.602 lb., +8.8% in the same month last year. The uncommitted inventory is now 551.913.639 lb., -10% than last year.

This is the sixth month in a row of record shipments and the overall figures ranged on the upper end of expectations. Domestic shipments were very impressive and up a record 12.6% at 63.28 mm lbs. Export shipments are up a strong 7.1% at 130.67 mm lbs, led be China, up 28% (13.77 mm) and Western Europe up 15% (56.73 mm). India was again down 25% (9.45 mm) for the month, although still up 24% for the year, and Middle East down 18% (15.65 mm lbs) for the month, however also still up 3% on the year. Again and again 2017 crop continues to perform beyond expectation.

Coming into April, the industry was poised for another strong report, although this may be stronger than most were predicting. Overall, shipments are still pacing almost 12% ahead of last year, with inventory down 5.63%. Commitments are flat to last year after a few months of regression, though inventory still down 10%. New sales were similar to last month, yet better than expected at 112 mm lbs.  This is impressive given the frost concerns and prices rising and most recently succumbing some of their gains.  Crop receipts added little to the supply in March with 6.3 million lbs – no surprises here.

If the industry ships the same than last year in the next months until July, will be around 310/330 Mlls.lbs. carry-out. And this can be considered very low in the actual circumstances, when right now it is quite difficult to find concrete items in the market. We expect shipments to gradually slow down pace as we move into summer (due to supply) and carryout to hone in near 350-360 mm lbs. To most everyone’s relief pricing has seen some softening from the post freeze highs, with standards trading between $2.65-68, Cal SSR 27/30 near $2.85-87, and NPX 27/30 $3.40-3.42.

Everybody is now anticipating TERRANOVA’s estimation to be published soon.We feel most growers are anticipating a figure close to last year’s overall supply while most buyers are anticipating a record supply, perhaps even close an average yield per acre (2.45 bb lbs).  With all the anticipation it is hard to imagine a scenario where prices aren’t affected.

Key dates:

23rd April, NASS Almond Acreage Report.

10th May, Subjective Estimation.

5th July, Objective Estimation.

date:  Apr 13, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on March Shipment Report – Almond Update
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Frosts hamper crops in Chinese growing regions

The frost and snow in North China have damaged dried nuts and fruit trees. The stricken area spreads over walnut and apricot origins such as Shanxi, Shaanxi, Henan, Hebei and Liaoning.

As usual, the weather pattern is cool and unsettled for most of the period in April. However the trees have started to bloom 7-10 days earlier this Spring due to unusual warm/hot weather with temperature of 20-30 degree. The sharp drop in temperature up to minus 4-5 degree all of sudden has severely pounded the blossom and bud as they were just in pollination period.

The damage seems heavy and it is being regarded as one of the most serious over the past 20 years in Shangle/Shaanxi. Due to geographic difference for all origins, we cannot yet evaluate the actual loss, but some estimate about 20-50% depending origin. Hopefully such news will not affect walnut market too much as they only account for 30% of the total production in China, but for for Apricot kernels, it might be another picture as Hebei and Gansu are two top origins.

date:  Apr 11, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Frosts hamper crops in Chinese growing regions
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Greek Currants market update

New offers of Greek Currants from origin, have been almost non-existent, since November of last year, following the short 2017 crop.

The quantity of unsold raw material remaining at origin is difficult to calculate, as the Greek industry does not provide an official crop estimate, carry over amounts, nor detailed worldwide export statistics. It is however widely accepted that a modest amount remains unsold.   Packers are reluctant to consider the prices presently offered by stockholders of unsold raw material, as in doing so, they risk establishing higher price levels, which could in turn create even greater damage to the market, by further increasing growers expectation of price, ahead of the 2018 crop.

Development of the 2018 crop is ahead of schedule, due to relatively high temperatures in recent weeks. Early budding of the vines leads to a longer period of risk through frost damage, the prospect of which is unthinkable.  Also, as temperatures throughout the Winter have been higher than average, vines may not have fully entered “Dormant” phase, so they may not be as well equipped to produce a high yield.

Even if the 2018 crop is of higher volume and good quality, it is unlikely that we will see any relief from the prevailing, higher offer prices, until Q1 2019, at the earliest. Any issues with the quality or quantity of the 2018 crop, may bring further untold pressure to the market, particularly as there will be no carryover from the 2017 crop.

Global supply of Currants has also been adversely affected by the fact that the 2018 South African crop was impacted by drought conditions, with their crop total estimated to be up to 50% lower than last year.

date:  Mar 26, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Greek Currants market update
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

California Walnut Board – February 2018 Position Report

As of Friday,  March 9th, the California Walnut Board released the February 2018 Position Report.

Shipments for the month ended February 2018 were down approximately 5.2% versus February 2017 shipments and YTD ended February 2018 were down approximately 14.1% from the same YTD period the year prior.

For your review is a summary comparison on an inshell comparable basis using an identical shell out rate of 44.1% for both years:

Inshell             Inshell

Equiv.              Equiv.

Tons               Tons             %

Feb. 2018      Feb. 2017     Chg

Crop Receipts                       627,798        679,225    -7.6%

Total Supply                          683,774        744,395    -8.1%

Monthly Shipments              48,525         51,203      -5.2%

Export Shipments                35,966          36,866      -2.4%

Domestic Shipments            12,559         14,337      -12.4%

YTD Shipments                     401,426       467,168     -14.1%

YTD Export Shipments         289,458       349,437     -17.2%

YTD Domestic Shipments   111,968       117,731      -4.9%

Inventory                                282,348      277,227     +1.8%

Shipments as % of Crop         63.9%       68.80%

Shipments as % of Supply     58.7%       52.80%

Shipments of 48,525 for the month of February 2018 were down 5.2% compared with February 2017 at 51,203 while YTD shipments of 401,426 ton are 65,742 ton or 14.1% behind the same YTD period the previous year.  Commensurately,  2017-2018 crop receipts are down by 51,427 ton which is less than the 65,742 ton that we are behind in sales and the 60,662 ton reduction in total supply.   We continue the seasonal downward trend in monthly sales with November 2017 at 99,091 ton,  December 2017 at 67,633 ton, January 2018 at 55,632 ton and now February 2018 of 48,525 ton but importantly, in order to carry out a similar 56,000 ton,  the industry needs to average 37,724 ton in each of the next 6 months which seems reasonable.   Shipments for the month did little to hurt the average needed to carry out a reasonable 56,000 ton crop amount.

Shipments as a percentage of supply are 58.7% for 2017-2018 versus 52.8% for 2016-2017 or a roughly 5.9% decline.  Domestic shipments for the month were down 12.4% while export shipments were down 2.4%. Total YTD shipments are down 14.1%.

 

date:  Mar 13, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on California Walnut Board – February 2018 Position Report
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

February 2018 Almond position report

February 2018 shipments were 190.13 million pounds.

This is 24.9% compared with February 2017 shipments of 152.26 million pounds.

Everyone’s attention over the past few weeks has been on the freezing temperatures and what impact it will have on the forthcoming 2018 crop. Prior to the frost, bloom had been shaping up nicely with heavy bud set in all regions.  At the time of the frost in Mid-February Nonpareil as well as other pollinators were well into bloom stages. The north was well ahead of other growing areas, particularly the southern state. The weather is a result of a dry and persistent high pressure system that left and made way for a cold front that swooped into the western United States.  The only good news is snowfall percentages made up for significant loss ground.  However California is still far behind averages for the year.

While still not much is known about the overall loss potential we have continued to be cautiously optimistic about the overall crop size.  Assumptions still range from 5-20% bloom and nutlet loss. Prior to the bloom debacle 2018 crop ideas ranged from 2.45 to 2.55 bb lbs.  Calmer minds have more recently discussed 2018 crop supply ranging from 2.2 to 2.3 bb lbs.  This to us is a more likely scenario given what little we do and do not know about 2018 crop damage at this point.

Shipments for the month totaled 190.13 million pounds, up an astounding 24.9%. This is now the fifth month in a row reaching records shipments.  . Overall shipments are pacing 12% above last year at 1.422 bb lbs.

The culmination of heavy shipments and sales is now starting to bring pressure to readily available goods – namely California types. It is becoming apparent that the transition inventory between crops is going to be very tight.  While complicated to measure, California is well on its way carrying out 350 mm lbs if shipment figures in the remaining 5 months are the same as last year.

date:  Mar 12, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on February 2018 Almond position report
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Turkish Vine Fruit Weather Warning

Temperatures in and around Izmir in Turkey, the growing region of sultanas & raisins, reached a high of 22 degrees Celsius over the weekend. The warm weather has now been fairly well set for the last two weeks, compared to 2017 these consistent temperatures are 3 weeks early, and this has caused some of the vines to start budding. This is something we usually don’t see until the end of March or start of April. Therefore the risk of frost only increases as we go into the month but how wide spread the budding is has yet to be determined.

The one thing that is certain is that farmers & packers in Turkey will be expecting the market to firm.

date:  Mar 12, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Turkish Vine Fruit Weather Warning
by:  Simon Heather category:  Latest News Read More

Turkish Apricot Update March 2018

2017 Crop

·     Exports in February were 7,740 tons, compared to 6,725 tons last year, an increase of 15%

·     Exports year to date are 67,103 tons compared to 55,953 tons last year, an increase of 20%

·     Average export price for whole apricots for February was $3028/ton FOB compared to $3109 last year.

Another strong export figure for February. Prices for this season are now converging with last seasons prices, and we expect in the next month or two at most for average monthly export prices to surpass last years.

Quality material size 5 and larger is no longer available in the daily market in Malatya, any remaining stock is in the hands of packers. We do not think any packers have significant long positions.

We conclude that the crop will be exported in its entirety, longer term price trends will be dictated by the weather over the coming weeks.

2018 Crop

Bloom has started, on average we are a week to 10 days earlier than normal. As of today about 20% of the bloom is open, this will increase to around 50% by the weekend, and up to 75% by end of next week. Weather for the next six weeks is crucial for determining the 2018 crop tonnage (and for the following 3 months for the quality). Currently there are no frosts forecast for the next 10 days, though temperatures around zero are forecast for Saturday morning.

There has been some rain over the past month, but reservoirs are less than 50% and a lot more is needed if problems are to be avoided during the summer.

date:  Mar 06, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Turkish Apricot Update March 2018
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Turkish Vine Fruit Update

Latest export and registration statistics show that the Turkish sultana/raisin crop is fast becoming increasingly tight in terms of raw material supply from farmers to packers. From 1st September 2017 to 28th February 2018 registration on the bourse (the local trade authority) was 273,000 tonnes from a crop estimation of 310,000 tonnes, meaning that only 12% of the crop remains in the hands of farmers/traders. Whilst this will undoubtedly cause some speculative panic amongst packers who will push prices up there is the softening blow that so far during the same period a total of 150,000 tonnes has been exported. Domestic market usage, including the much publicised schools project, is considered somewhere between 25,000 to 30,000 tonnes per annum. So if we consider 180,000 tonnes either exported or used for the domestic market it would leave 130,000 tonnes/42% still to be exported, which should be more just about enough to meet demand before new crop.

 

  Total Tonnes
2017 Crop Estimation 310,000
Bourse Registration 1/9/17 to 28/2/18 273,000
Export Quantity 1/9/17 to 28/2/18 150,000

 

This crop prices started to firm a bit earlier, during end November & early December, than in previous years largely down to increased enquiries as other origins suffer with poor quality and reduced crops, Iran & USA. Whilst this increase in cost, circa $250-$300 per ton, was expected as we go through January/February the fact it happened earlier has led to prices subsequently cooling down a little bit in the last 2 to 3 weeks as demand has levelled out. It’s easy to forget that a large number of manufacturers and retailers are well covered forward so the huge demand just isn’t there at this moment of the year As we move into the latter part of the month and into April we are starting to run the risk of adverse weather (frost & hail storms) affecting the vineyards and therefore most packers are just trying to keep things ticking over until they truly know where the market is.

 

There are two simple scenarios in terms of weather affecting pricing:

 

  1. If there is widespread frost & damage across the growing region then prices will rocket skywards overnight
  2. Whereas if there is no significant frost & damage then prices will likely stay very similar to today’s levels or at best they will ease off ever so slightly. Do not expect a massive fall as the worldwide supply picture is difficult presently.

 

The market is finely poised with farmers, packers and buyers closely watching the weather in Turkey as it decides which hand the industry will be dealt.

date:  Mar 05, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Turkish Vine Fruit Update
by:  Simon Heather category:  Latest News Read More

Chinese pumpkin seed market

Exports from China has been slow over the last few weeks with not much activity, the domestic sales also are slow. 2018 has not started in the manor of which exporters would have hoped for. Demand from Europe is low as many importers and traders have enough stocks of the regular grades. The is also sufficient stocks in China with only the shine skin in the North West of China where we are hearing reports of slow deliveries. Historically the levels we are seeing in today’s market is low, buyers however continue to be reluctant to rush into the market. It may however be a good opportunity to now look at looking at securing any long term requirements.

We are not expecting any significant price increases within the coming weeks, likewise we are not expecting much downward movement. These levels can perhaps been seen as too low for the farmers and processors in China. Potentially the market may start to turn from May. This is when indication of the plantings for the next crop will become clearer but the speculation at this time may drive the market as expectation is that the plantings will decrease. Other crops offering a better return to the farmers may be utilised instead.

Demand in Europe remains slow as advised above, but on  the other hand, we see also a growing interest from the market to add pumpkin in pumpkin to their product portfolio. The health benefits and growing health concerns with consumers demanding more nutritional foods should be beneficial to the industry long term. The key to this of course is raisins awareness and the drive to educate more bakeries to use pumpkin seeds as a key ingredient.

date:  Mar 02, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Chinese pumpkin seed market
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

South African Currants – potential berry count issue

The first batches out of new crop South African Currants are now arriving in the factories and being sampled. The berry count is affected and slightly higher then normal and could be even as small as up to 1600 berries per 100g.

This is due to the drought which produced berries which are smaller or lighter resulting in a higher berry count per 100 gr then normal years.

It is still early days and more merchandise needs to be sampled and selected. It may improve as the first product is coming from the orchards more affected by the drought than the product being harvested now.

Fact is that volumes available for export will be reduced significantly if  berry count is not adjusted.

This is an unique year and we will have to adjust, otherwise volumes will be extremely limited

date:  Feb 28, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on South African Currants – potential berry count issue
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More
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