News

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

No decision on draft Regulation reducing MRLs for iprodione

At the Standing Committee on 26/27 February, the European Commission and Member States discussed a draft Regulation which will reduce MRLs for iprodione.

Unfortunately, Member States couldn’t agree on the scope of the transitional period because there is a risk of high exposure of consumers to iprodione via certain crops – some crops may exceed the acute reference dose (ARfD). Therefore, it was agreed that the Commission will ask EFSA to assess which are the crops with exceedances and these crops will be exempted from the future transitional period.

Therefore, the Commission and Member States will have another exchange on this draft Regulation which may take place at the June Standing Committee meeting or via emails before that. After the final draft is agreed, it will be notified to the WTO and non-EU countries will be allowed to comment on it during a two-month period. The final vote on the draft Regulation will take place afterwards.

The Commission doesn’t want to rush with the vote on this Regulation because this case will serve as a precedent for similar cases in future.

More details on the discussion will be published in the report of the Standing Committee in the upcoming weeks.

date:  Feb 28, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on No decision on draft Regulation reducing MRLs for iprodione
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Pecan market update

Throughout the first months of 2018 pecan prices have continue to decrease almost on a weekly basis reaching sub $6.00/lb levels. The steady flow of cheaper raw material filtering through to the packers has been the main driving factor of the softening pricing. Several processors were also in need to turn there material into cash and lowered pricing accordingly to keep sales consistent. Over the past few weeks the availability of incoming raw material has now slowed whilst demand has reaming similar and we are therefore now seeing the market turn around and start to increase.

The consumption of Pecans globally is at an all time record. Marketing efforts and lower pricing have affected the global market.

The Mexican crop was larger than expected and initially reported and all signs point to a sizeable crop. The US crop indicates to expect around 280 million lbs.

With pricing now seeming to have turned, and increasing, it is though this will now continue into Q3.

 

 

date:  Feb 28, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Pecan market update
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Californian frost affecting almond orchards

The Frost in California has been severe.  Packers are suggesting that it has been the worst episode of cold weather the almond industry has experienced since 1995.

Superficial damage has been showing on affected blossoms.

The entire state’s growing areas were impacted.  In the past two decades, there has been small isolated areas receiving frost, but growers have never witnessed the growing areas from Bakersfield, Fresno, and Sacramento all experiencing multiple days of frost for many hours per night.

The flower colour has started turning a brown colour.  The flowers that have been frozen and will die off.

Some industry experts are predicting the damage will be between 10% to 20% of the entire crop being impacted.  Most growers/packers are withdrawn from new crop sales as they assess the damage.

Saturday saw frigid overnight conditions again in all regions as temperatures ranged from the mid 20s in the coldest areas, to low 30s in the warmest. Once again, growers with water irrigated to try and warm their orchards and save their crop.

We will have a better idea on the amount of damage by mid-late March.

date:  Feb 27, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Californian frost affecting almond orchards
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Hot Cross Bun Crisis………We don’t think so

On Monday 26th February almost all national newspapers and the BBC ran stories regarding the shortage of Raisins & Currants creating an immediate shortage of Hot Cross Buns. Whilst it’s true that California has suffered a huge decrease in the overall size and quality of 2017 Raisin crop when compared to 2016 it seems to have slipped the media’s attention that almost no manufacturer uses Californian Raisins in their Hot Cross Bun production because Turkey has historically been cheaper and more readily available.

Many of the reports did state that the price of Turkish fruit has increased by 20% since September and whilst this is correct the prices are still towards the bottom end of a 6 year low (although not as cheap as last year), something none of the media outlets decided to highlight.

What they’ve also clearly neglected to mention in terms of the scaremongering when the reports moved onto Christmas Puddings & Mince Pies is that as part of the service the likes of Chelmer Foods & our competition offer is the fact that we will have sold right through until December 2018 to major manufacturers and therefore not only is the supply guaranteed but so is the price. Most Christmas puddings are made in the earlier part of the year, soaked and left to mature accordingly.

Now the one thing they did get right in their reports was the dire situation with Greek Currants, how this pricing has sky rocketed compared to last year and how manufacturers would have to look at alternative sources of supply such as South Africa & Australia. What they yet again failed to report is that a large proportion of manufacturers covered huge quantities of material at the start of the season when pricing was substantially lower than it is currently (yes pun intended) and therefore have adequate cover to see them through until 2018 crop/harvest in August/September when there is hope that they’ll be some easing on prices.

Ultimately the theme of the above is don’t believe everything you see in the media.

date:  Feb 27, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Hot Cross Bun Crisis………We don’t think so
by:  Simon Heather category:  Latest News Read More

Additional volumes of Turkish Hazelnuts available in the market…

TMO ( Turkish Grain Board) has announced yesterday evening that they are opening their stocks for sale.

Giresun Variety  in shell hazelnuts; 12,50 TL / kg,

Levant Variety    in shell hazelnuts; 11,50 TL / kg,

Pointed Variety  in shell hazelnuts; 10,50 TL / kg,

These prices are 15 % higher than current running prices in market.

Technically this means now there is an extra 137 000 mtons of in-shell hazelnuts available to market but at higher than market prices.

From buyers side you can say that there is no risk missing hazelnuts from market besides prices will be higher.

On the other hand packers believe that there has been some stock already available at the market and those stock holders will try to sell their stock as much as possible near to those levels.

And if we see that no one is really buying from TMO any in coming weeks than we will think that available stock in the market will be enough in coming months as well.

By begin of March we will have first outlook from orchards and  this first report will affect the market more. Normally crop is developing well but about 2 weeks earlier than its normal development timing.

Weather has been mild and if we pass risky period until Mid of April without any damage to crop that would mean more positive outlook for coming crop.

In coming days we will see first reaction in market. Today we have seen somewhat less sellers and more buyers domestically but from current levels running in market.

date:  Feb 23, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Additional volumes of Turkish Hazelnuts available in the market…
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Drought in Argentina

We have been made aware by our partner supplier of Popcorn in Argentina that there has been a drought in the growing region.

A newspaper article titled ‘A campaign at its limits’. published in LA NATION on 10th February 2018, confirms the huge drought taking place in Argentina.

As a consequence, all corn crops will be reduced in supply.

date:  Feb 23, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Drought in Argentina
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

2018 Chilean Prune crop progressions

The 2018 Chilean prune crop is forecast at 80-85 thousand MT. The estimated carry over from last crop should be around 10 thousand MT.

The 2018 prune crop has shown optimal state across the season. Beneficial conditions prevailed throughout the winter with many chilling hours, during spring the bloom was massive and growers expect a heavier crop with good fruit size.

The most important volumes of the 2018 harvest should be concentrated between 60/70 and 70/80 u/lb. In fact, it should be taken into account that the average size of the 2017 crop which was 78 u/lb.

Harvest is estimated to start on mid-February in the central valleys near Santiago. The expectation is that the first lots for 2018 crop will be available for shipment during the end of March and/or early April.

Prices should remain fairly similar to 2017, since growers are expecting similar or greater returns from the packers/exporters, especially due to the downward trend shown by the US dollar versus the Chilean peso in recent months.

date:  Feb 12, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on 2018 Chilean Prune crop progressions
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More
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