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.