Monthly Archives April 2015

What’s happening with Turkish Hazelnuts?

The exporters union are saying that they believe that any damage due to the weekend frosts will be limited to bushes over 900 m, they come to this conclusion by looking at the flowers. If this is correct and we also believe the same, then damage will be minimal maybe 15-20,000 mt but again no one can say for sure until the end of the week beginning next week.047

What is clear is that there are few if any sellers this morning of 2014 crop, we get no deliveries at 36 TL but also little demand. We don’t believe that the frosts are to blame just that there is almost nothing left.

Nominally the market stays at 36 TL but with a weak lira at 2.6750 to the US$ (down 1%) US$ prices are down slightly today raw 11/13 mm Levant’s would be in the region of US$ 14350 pmt C&F Europe market quality in jute sacks gross weights.

date:  Apr 14, 2015 comments:  Comments Off on What’s happening with Turkish Hazelnuts?
by:  Simon Heather category:  Latest News Read More

Apricots Update…

Exports for March were 3,953 tons, compared to 9,383 tons last year.Picture 1083

Year to date exports were 36,824 tons compared to 88,644 tons last year.

Exports were in line with expectations, and 14% up on last month. April exports are expected to be similar or a little higher as there has been significant business concluded when prices dipped to season lows during March. Total export figures for the year are expected to reach 45,000 to 50,000 tons with zero carryover.

The bloom continues to face challenging weather conditions

Up to 10 cm of snow fell over the weekend in many growing areas

Following the frost on the early morning of 6th April when temperatures were recorded to –5C in the main growing area, the first half of last week saw temperatures climb to 20 C bringing many of the remaining trees into bloom, before temperatures tumbled 10 C or more over the past weekend, with night time temperatures recorded to –2 C (Darende) and with up to 10 cm of snow.

It is too early to put any reliable estimate on the 2015 crop, we certainly do not expect anything as bad as 2014, but there is damage, and unlike 2014, there will be no carry over cushion.
Since the frost the market has been withdrawn pending assessment of the damage. Due to the strong demand during March triggered when prices dipped ahead of the bloom, most of the remaining stocks of size 4 5 and 6 are now sold out, with only small quantities of larger sizes remaining uncommitted.

We look foreword to handling your inquiries via our Apricots trader James Weaire or your usual account manager.

date:  Apr 13, 2015 comments:  Comments Off on Apricots Update…
by:  Simon Heather category:  Latest News Read More

California crop updates from FreshPacific…


California received welcome rains yesterday in many parts of the State.  Northern California had more measureable rain than areas farther South.  Rainfall amounts were not enough in any location however to change the drought situation in California.  There was some hail reported in specific areas but so far it does not appear to be wide spread.   There however will be specific fields where some damage can be expected but this take some time to be evaluated.   All walnut growers however were pleased with this needed moisture as it will surely help walnut bloom and increases the potential for a better nut set.  Most growers agree that they have always had better crops in years where there has been some rain during bloom as it appears to help young developing nuts by controlling the amount of natural ethelyne produced by the flowers.

Growers at this time do feel that even though bloom has looked very good so far is not fully over, there biggest concern is still centered around the current drought situation.  Northern California just by location will be less impacted than the Southern growing areas but the worry and concern will be the severe shortage of surface water.  Many areas do have wells and pumps but this still does not guarantee sufficient water to produce a normal crop.  Without adequate and continuous supplies of good quality water both walnut crop volume and quality can be affected.

At this time the early and older varieties of Payne, Serr, Tehama, Ashley, Vino and Chico are in full bloom and about one week or more ahead of normal.  These varieties for example last season only contributed to about 12% of the entire California crop.  The slightly later varieties of Tulares and Howards are now at about 30-60% bloom which represent just under 30% of the California crop.  The later varieties of Hartley’s and Chandlers are now just starting bloom with flowers just developing.  These two varieties represent the largest percentage of the crop or about 55% of the total.    It will be approximately another month before bloom will be completely over.  There is the possibility of another storm early next week which again would be very welcome by all of California agriculture.

To  date as a whole, based on the reality of the current California drought situation the potential for a lower volume crop is very realistic.  Even though there will be more barring acres the effects of the current drought and lack of water could easily mitigate the increased acreage with total lower volume on the 2015 crop.  Time will tell and more will be known over the next few months.


Like all California crops this season, almond bloom was earlier than normal.  Bloom appeared to be from 7-14 days earlier than many previous seasons.  Bloom in general however was reported to be uneven

with less crosspollination even though the weather was almost ideal.  Bloom weather during the majority of the time was almost perfect with dry conditions and warm days.  As noted above there was a winter storm yesterday that did have some hail in specific locations.  As noted above some damage is expected but again it should not be wide spread and it will take some time to access the full extent of the damage.

As noted above,  almonds will also be effected by the current California drought and water situation.  Like walnuts there will be an increase in total acreage with new production but at the sametime the potential for thousands of acres to be effected by lack of water is still the greatest concern.  This season on the NP variety as well as others, even though the nut hull set on the tree, the actual nut on many trees never internally developed.  Any trees and or vines when stressed by lack of good quality water may appear to look Ok and healthy but the first defense for survival will be to “shed” the fruit.  This again will be a concern for this season.    At this time it is too soon to know the effects that the continued drought situation will have on this year’s crop.  By mid- June once all chances of frost are over as well as the potential effects of additional rain events,   a better idea on total volume will be known.   An early thought right now is that the almond crop for the 2015 season will not be as large as the 2014 crop of 1.9 million pounds.  we will keep you advised.


Grape bunch counts have started. Early indications are a much higher count than 2014. Counts range from 30 to 35 bunches per vine. Additional estimates should be announced over the next couple of weeks . Pullouts of raisin varietals and wine vartietals continues at a steady pace. Rough estimates put raisin pullouts at about 15,000 acres. This is equivalent to a loss of about 30,000 tons of raisins. However, the demand for concentrates is greatly diminished. The wineries use the same grape as the raisin industry to make concentrate. As the wine demand for raisin varietal grapes diminishes the grower is left with only one option,  devote his production to raisins. This will offset the 15,000 acres of pullouts. Last year the wineries crushed 155,000 tons of raisin varietals for concentrate. If 100% of this tonnage is diverted to raisin production, it would produce 39,000 tons or raisins .

Our best guess is that you can probably rely on about 50% going to raisin production. In all we feel that there will be a continued oversupply of raisins going into the 2015 crop year.

Water continues to be a national topic. Now we are beginning to see arguments against our high speed rail system and the public wanting more attention to the current water crisis. The water problem could impact the 2015 raisin crop due to reduced irrigations which could stress the fruit development. Regardless of the water problems , we still believe that the drought will not have a significant impact on the yields overall. The 2015 crop should still be larger that 2014. Through last week , 286,000 tons of NTS has been reported by the processors. Undelivered tonnage is probably around 15,000 tons putting the total around 300,000 tons plus. With the increase in bunch counts and yield per acres increasing it is safe to say at this time the 2015 should be over 300,000 tons easily.

Reports above courtasy of Steve Troehler from FreshPacificFresh Pacific Logo


date:  Apr 10, 2015 comments:  Comments Off on California crop updates from FreshPacific…
by:  Simon Heather category:  Latest News Read More

Greek Currants update…

Offers prices of Greek Currants from origin are presently stable and are likely to remain so, at least until any risk of frost damage to the new crop development has passed (early May).


Whilst the rapid fall in Greek raw material prices, over the last two seasons, combined with the reduced subsidy, paid to the grower, may well impact upon total production within the next few years, we do not expect this to significantly affect production from the 2015 crop. As shown below, we also expect a carryover of around 5,600mt, at the end of this season.


2014 crop estimate 19,000mt
Less packer retention (say average 12%)   2,400mt
Plus 2013 crop carry over   6,000mt
Estimated Total supply @ 1.9.14 22,600mt
Less anticipated export demand 1.9.14 to 31.8.15 17,000mt
Predicted carry over @ 31.8.15   5,600mt





Assuming  that a 2015 crop of around 20,000mt is safely harvested, this will give around 17,500 after retention (Although no longer compulsory, packers typically retain and about 12% of their raw material, as being too large or underdeveloped.  This is used in production of alcohol etc). To this we must add the 2014 crop carryover of around 5,600mt, giving a total supply of 23,100 mt, against anticipated total demand of 17,000mt – 18,000mt.


Based on the assumption that there are no significant crop issues, in other World origins, we would expect that the average price for the 2105/6 season, will be slightly lower than that of this season.


This also assumes that Greece remains in The Euro-zone, and that the average Sterling/Euro rate for the period is 1.37 – 1.40.RIMG0059


For any enquires of Greek Provincial or Vostizza Currants please contact our buyer Tony Smith or your usual contact…


date:  Apr 09, 2015 comments:  Comments Off on Greek Currants update…
by:  Simon Heather category:  Latest News Read More

California major drought concerns worsen…

California governor issues mandatory water cuts as snowpack hits record low

Almonds snowpack2Almonds snowpack1

Look at the photos from today, versus 2008.

No snow today, and lots of snow in 2008.

California’s mountain snowpack is crucial to determining summer supplies, normally accounting for at least 30 percent of total fresh water available statewide. The poor snowpack means California reservoirs likely already have reached peak storage and will receive little additional runoff from snowmelt, an unusual situation.

“We’re standing on dry grass, and we should be standing in 5 feet of snow,” Brown said. “We’re in an historic drought, and that demands unprecedented action.”

Brown’s executive order directs California’s more than 3,000 urban water providers to collectively cut their water use by 25 percent compared with 2013. The State Water Resources Control Board is expected to impose the new restrictions by mid-May, setting a different target for each agency depending on how much water its customers use per capita and conservation progress since last year.

With 2015 opening with some of the driest weather in California history, Brown has faced increasing pressure to act on the drought. His call last year for residents to voluntarily reduce their water use by 20 percent statewide resulted in increased conservation, but it ultimately fell short. Water agencies collectively managed to meet this target only once out of the past eight months.

“I called for 20 percent voluntary, and we’re going to get more like 9 percent,” Brown said. “That’s not enough.”

The new goals will be mandatory. Felicia Marcus, chairwoman of the water board, said her agency will decide next month exactly what tools it will wield to ensure compliance. But she suggested water agencies that don’t meet their targets are likely to face fines.

“Enforcement is definitely on deck in this next phase,” she said.

Brown’s directive calls on the state to create financial incentives for homeowners to replace thirsty lawns with drought-tolerant landscape, as well as rebates for new water-efficient appliances. But he said local water agencies also might issue cease-and-desist orders on water users if they fail to meet the conservation order.

“I would hope that we don’t see this in some punitive way, but that we see the challenge,” Brown said. “(The) reality is that the climate is getting warmer, the weather is getting more extreme and unpredictable, and we have to become more resilient, more efficient and more innovative. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”

In the Sacramento region, water agencies overall cut water usage per capita by about 18 percent from the summer of 2013 to the summer of 2014, according to a Bee review of data reported to the state. That means many already are close to the 25 percent cut mandated by Brown.

However, the capital region still guzzles far more than most other parts of the state. On average, Sacramento-area residents used about 190 gallons per person per day between June and September 2014, compared to an average of about 131 gallons per person per day in the rest of the state.

Among the other measures in the governor’s order:

▪ A program to replace 50 million square feet of residential lawns statewide with drought-tolerant plants, equal to more than 800 football fields.

▪ A new statewide consumer rebate program to subsidize installation of water-efficient appliances, such as toilets and washing machines.

▪ A ban on watering ornamental lawns on public street medians.

▪ A ban on irrigating yards in new housing developments unless the water is recycled or drip irrigation is used.

▪ Financial assistance for families forced to find new housing because they have run out of potable water.

“People should realize we’re in a new era,” Brown said. “The idea of your nice little green grass getting lots of water every day, that’s going to be a thing of the past.”

Brown’s order requires water agencies that service agricultural areas to develop drought management plans, with increased reporting on water supply and use. But unlike cities, farms will face no conservation targets, mandatory or otherwise.

Agriculture consumes nearly 80 percent of the state’s “developed” water supply.

Marcus said agricultural water agencies already have had their surface water allocations slashed considerably. In the case of farmers dependent on the federal Central Valley Project, many have been told they will receive no water. The State Water Project, which is operated by the Department of Water Resources and also serves some farms, plans to deliver 20 percent of typical contract amounts.

Craig Wilson, former Delta watermaster at the state water board, is among those saying the state should be doing more to force conservation on farmers. He noted that many farmers enjoy so-called senior water rights, which have not been curtailed at all. Many also rely on groundwater, which has been pumped to unprecedented lows in some parts of the state.

Brown’s order requires groundwater users to expand or speed up their reports of water use but does not restrict pumping.

“Ag is where the water is,” Wilson said. “Come up with a plan to cut their water use by 10 percent, 20 percent. I wouldn’t dictate to the farmers how to do it, but tell them to give us the plan that shows how you’re going to do it.”

Officials at urban water agencies mostly cheered Brown’s announcement, saying it will help keep the public focused on conservation as the drought worsens.

“I think he’s upping the ante, and I think it’s important that he does,” said Kevin Wattier, general manager of the Long Beach Water Agency. “You look at what’s happened with this snowpack and we need to step it up.”

Last week, Brown signed a $1.1 billion drought relief and flood protection package, then went on NBC’s “Meet the Press” to address the crisis for a national audience.

Two of the first three months of this year, January and March, were the driest in more than 100 years. Many areas of the state were also hotter than average during these months, shattering heat records in many locations, including Sacramento.

A few miles down Highway 50 from the meadow where the snowpack measurement took place, the only evidence of winter was a patch of snow that could be seen on a hilltop from the window of Strawberry Station, a general store.

“It’s pretty dire,” said David Schlosser, who owns the store with his wife, Jenifer. “It looks like August.”

Schlosser said families heading to the mountains for winter vacations this year stopped and asked how far they had to continue to find snow.

“We would say, ‘Denver,’ ” he said.

Jenifer Schlosser said that during a major drought in the late 1970s, when Brown was governor before, residents trusted dry years were cyclical and would come to an end.

“Now, with all the other changes – climate change – people are like, ‘Oh, this could be serious.’ ”

At the snowpack measurement, Brown was asked about his own conservation efforts.

“First of all, my own water use is relatively limited, I must say,” Brown said. “We’re very careful of what we’re doing – turning off that faucet a little quicker, getting out of the shower a little faster, and not flushing the toilet every time.”

 Read more here:

New mandatory restrictions

For the first time in history, a California governor has ordered mandatory statewide water cutbacks. Here are some of the highlights from Gov. Brown’s executive order.

▪ Requires the State Water Resources Control Board to impose restrictions that will cut statewide urban water use 25 percent compared with 2013.

▪ Calls for urban water agencies to create rate structures, fees and penalties that encourage residents to use less water.

▪ Requires all newly constructed homes and buildings to use drip irrigation or microspray systems to water landscape.

▪ Creates a statewide initiative to get California residents collectively to replace 50 million square feet of lawns with drought tolerant landscape.

▪ Creates a statewide rebate program to encourage residents to buy new water-efficient appliances.

▪ Requires agricultural water suppliers to submit detailed drought management plans


date:  Apr 08, 2015 comments:  Comments Off on California major drought concerns worsen…
by:  Simon Heather category:  Latest News Read More

Apricot bloom frosts…

There was a hard frost Sunday  morning with temperatures between –1 and –4 C for 5 hours.  60% of trees are in bloom, and 20% had just finished with 20% not yet open.

Apricot prices have increased by about 30% this morning, though there are no sellers (beyond the odd individual sack).apricots1

Current crop is in any event almost sold out.

We (and the rest of the market) are withdrawn for the next few days to assess the damage.


Apricot Market update: As we are stepping into the process of a new Crop it seems all exporters had a really tough 2014 season with great losses.

Current market: No Trade taking place due to the frost, expectation of prices to stay firm going forward depending on the Damage to the new crop.

New Crop:Frost which took place on the 5th at certain regions in  valleys surrounded by mountains where cold weather in the minus ranges  trapped the air from circulating and causing freeze. We will need some warm weather to visit and figure out the damage. Also concerns from Growers of heavy long rain periods in Malatya has stopped some flowers to pollinate which is not turning into fruit. Below are pictures of frost regions,as you can see most of the fruit on trees in valley are frozen.Weather forcasts predict in the minus ranges on Saturday the 11th for different regions.Taking into consideration of the Damage on new crop,and the heavy crop damage in Uzbekistan,Tajicistan and Kygyzstan prices look to stay firm.

image1 image2 image3


date:  Apr 08, 2015 comments:  Comments Off on Apricot bloom frosts…
by:  Simon Heather category:  Latest News Read More

Turkish Sultana export figures

As of  04.04.2015, The exported quantity has reached   to 170.363 mtons with an average price of 1.798 usd / ton.

Last year (2013 crop) during the same period     the exported quantity was 107.721 tons with an average price of 2.620 usd / ton.

On a “weekly basis” , during the Calendar Week (CW) 14, 2015  (last week) ;  4.545 tons was exported with a weekly average price of usd 1.743 / ton.

During the Calender Week (CW) 14 , 2014 ;  2.204 tons was shipped with a weekly average price of  2.671 usd / ton.


date:  Apr 07, 2015 comments:  Comments Off on Turkish Sultana export figures
by:  Simon Heather category:  Latest News Read More

Turkish vineyards situation as of early April 2015

One of our partners thoughts regarding the current situation with the Turkish Vineyards…

They are advising these basing on observations, and also what the other farmers had been advisingingredients2

Some areas, especially banks alongside Gediz River , had received frost and dew damage due to extreme cold weather.

Some vineyards which were pruned during end December – early January in this area has received some 25 to 60% damage, they suggest, of course the secondary blooms will occur however, weather conditions are still not so good.

On 15th April they should know more, but from what they can see, they are not too hopeful with the vineyards this season and it promises to be a tough year once again .

The budding is not as healthy as it should be, crop will be less basing on the bud , where as it was 30 bunches, estimates 10-20  bunches.

Only the younger vineyards looks better, in the 1-2 year old young vineyards, the budding is good, however even in the same area, two neighbouring vineyards will have different yields.

Hopefully after 15th April, things will improve…

date:  Apr 07, 2015 comments:  Comments Off on Turkish vineyards situation as of early April 2015
by:  Simon Heather category:  Latest News Read More

Seeds Market Update


Prices continue to increase in China due to dwindling stocks and steady demand – with still about 6 months before new crop will be shipped,advise taking cover  rather than waiting.

Sunflower sunflower

Markets  fairly stable  both in China  and Bulgaria

Steady demand  for both Bakery and Confectionery grades – don’t see any  major changes until September/October when new crops will become available

Hulled sesame

Market in India has eased a bit due to a lull in demand recently.

They are expecting their small Summer crop in May. Advise people to take cover upto October 2015 when the main crop will be harvested.


Both Brown and Yellow available from either Europe or Canada

Prices  are steady / firm due to  demand


Market steady with reasonable supply from all origins


For all enquires please contact out Seeds / Pulses trader Hugh Walter ( or your usual account manager. poppy


date:  Apr 02, 2015 comments:  Comments Off on Seeds Market Update
by:  Simon Heather category:  Latest News Read More

Possible improved Turkish Hazelnut crop coming?

Market update047

Looks like a slightly better crop coming but unlikely prices will crash and burn on the current crop as there is still some major end users searching the market for good quality raw materials.

The market is looking easier as more sellers appear as the frost risk disappears. It’s still unclear if 2014 crop stocks will be enough to bridge the gap till new crop as also there are buyers in the wings and those holding stock in Turkey do not have large amounts.

Only time will tell, but for the time being there are more sellers than buyers.


For enquiries of Turkish Hazelnuts, both Raw and Roasted, please contact our Hazelnut buyer James Weaire or your usual account manager:



date:  Apr 01, 2015 comments:  Comments Off on Possible improved Turkish Hazelnut crop coming?
by:  Simon Heather category:  Latest News Read More