Monthly Archives August 2018

Firmness in the Poppy seed market due to low crop estimate

According to market signals, it feels like 2008 when we had the all-time high prices. Estimates are still low and it is not getting any better…

Predictions on the basis of estimates from the Czech Statistical office are aiming on a maximum new crop volume for 2018 of 15.000 MTs only.

Considering the last 5 years volume overview, 2018 estimated volumes are the far lowest within this 5 year range.

Just as an example: 2018 Mts are 47 % down compared with (the high) 2016 volumes, where 2018 compared with the previous year 2017, is down by 29 % (where other estimates are even hinting on figures down by over 30 %).

This huge fallback appears to be a direct result of both a lower number of ha’s which have been planted as well as (and this has influenced the current expected volume most) the low yield expectation(s) (MT/Ha).

Considering the total (lower) volume this year, I wouldn’t be surprised if the prices remain at somewhat higher levels.

Unfortunately this is the actual situation and we are stuck in these very unfortunate and unpredictable market circumstances.

date:  Aug 30, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Firmness in the Poppy seed market due to low crop estimate
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Pumpkin – Poor planting and quality of GWS could put pressure on Shineskin

Due to bad economic benefit within the last 3-4 years, farmers continue to reduce the planting area and this planting year is no exception, coupled with sand storms and snow showers during the end of May, the planting area continues to reduce by a further 10-15%. Quality for this season will be questionable.

Ordinarily one Pumpkin will have about 100-110 seed counts, this year, most of are 60-70 counts, so the yield is much reduced.

Estimations are that there will be max 5000-5500 for all GWS in china for crop 2018. There is also have some old crop in the market, old crop quantity is more than new crop quantity, however, old crop is bad quality materials including frozen, mouldy, or high pesticide kernels, so, it’s high risk on GWS quality. Caution with some packers should be advised as some may mix different old into new crop.

Our packers will only ship new crop, raw materials are obtained from our packers lands and/or our farmers sign contracts with them.

Pricing, we don’t believe will come down for current crop, because old crop materials price remains firm, because those materials are also under high price to purchase by speculators!

Hopefully price may stabilise from new crop, at moment, the price is increased 200-250 usd/t vs July; if demand is increasing and everyone rushes to cover, price will increase very quickly.


date:  Aug 21, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Pumpkin – Poor planting and quality of GWS could put pressure on Shineskin
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Chinese Walnut Crop and Market Report


At the China International Tree Nut Conference held in zhuhai, China from 1 – 3, August, the subjective Walnut Crop estimate this year has been set by the Representing Councils at an estimate of 830,000 metric tonnes.

Representatives from the regions of Yunnan, Xinjiang, Shanxi, Hebei, Gamsu, Henan and Shaanxi have reported the crop is similar to the figure of final receipt last year which was 840,000 metric tonnes.

A short crop of 30-70% is reported from Hebei, Henan, Gansu, Shaanxi and Shanxi due to widespread frost/snow in those regions, where the crop fails 30% in Hebei, 50% in Shaanxi/Gansu/Henan and 70% in Shanxi respectively.

The reassuring news is from two top origins, Xinjiang and Yunnan, who expect above average crop, accounting for over 60% of the total in China so far, for which we need to conduct further crop survey for these vast and remote regions.


  • Larger than normal carry over and inactive demand worldwide have resulted in market declining at the end of the season.
  • The world trade war has put the nut industry in great disorder, causing heavy impact on the normal trade.
  • The sale of green hull walnut has commenced in some regions, but the full harvest will start end August/early Sept.

It is expected that pricing for new crop might be even lower than last year in order to follow the competition

date:  Aug 07, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Chinese Walnut Crop and Market Report
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Officially, the Turkish 2018 dried apricots crop size has been estimated 89.318 tons

Officially, the Turkish 2018 dried apricots crop size has been estimated 89.318 tons. According to our research we expect about 100.000 tons. With the carry over stocks , we believe that we have enough fruit quantity wise.

Although there will be no problem with the availability of the product ,  quality may be an issue;

  • Because of the heavy rains and hail in spring and  during early summer, majority of the fruit has speckles and hail damage .
  • This season apricots matured very early at all orchards at once. This created a serious colour problem – colours are pale and darker than usual. It decreased the quality of hand work of farmers. 

According to the location and altitude of the orchards, apricots used to get matured at different times. Ripening generally starts from lowlands next to the dam lake and slowly moves to the higher lands. Even in the same orchard, according to age/variety /location of the trees, the ripening time vary. The time variety of the maturity helps to use the labour more efficiently and allows the farmers to have enough time to take care of the quality. For a good colour, the fruit should be harvested and SO2 treated before the full maturity . If the fruit gets fully matured, SO2 cannot penetrate into the fruit perfectly and colours become pale and darker than it is supposed to be. The seeds should be pitted after a few days of drying when apricots get soften . If the workers do not have enough time for pitting they damage the fruit during pitting .

  • We estimate that the crop 2018 is mostly Size # 3-4-5. Due to the carry over stocks from the crop 2017 small sizes will not have a dramatic shortage but it will be extremely difficult to find good quality big sizes.

Natural apricots’ quality is worse than the sulphured products . But good quality or bad quality, natural or sulphured, big sizes will be high priced because of the domestic demand

Production costs have increased a lot. Carton prices doubled, labour costs, energy prices and domestic transportation prices have increased up to  % 20-30 .

Raw material prices are already too high but due to the devaluation of Turkish Lira,  we do not see a sharp increase in our export price offers . If Turkish Lira gains value, price increase will be more than expected on foreign currencies .

We are at the beginning of the crop season, farmers need money to cover their harvest expenses.  So there should be plenty of offers in the market. But farmers bring only their very bad quality products to the market. All farmers believe that good quality products will go with a premium so they prefer to keep their good quality and reasonable quality products in their stocks . We are at the beginning of the season and we already have a big shortage of good quality products.

date:  Aug 02, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Officially, the Turkish 2018 dried apricots crop size has been estimated 89.318 tons
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Prospects for the 2018 Greek Currants crop

Drying of the 2018 Currants crop will commence next week in certain regions, slightly earlier than the average of recent seasons. This week, we visited our Greek suppliers, to assess the scale of the damage caused by recent adverse weather conditions

Heavy rainfall in some of the main growing areas during the second half of June, has caused significant damage to the crop, with losses estimated at 30% or even higher in some regions.

Due to the delicate skin of Currant grapes, the berries have absorbed the moisture following the rain, causing some of them to expand and split, meaning that many berries have been lost, as they have fallen from the bunches.

Also, some of the berries on that affected bunches have shrivelled, meaning that they are light in weight and so will be removed by the aspirators during processing or during winnowing, prior to processing at the factory, in the case of Vostizza fruit.

Fortunately, there are no signs that mould has developed. Testing of fruit taken from vines of different areas in recent weeks, have also shown no issue regarding presence of Ochratoxin A.  Ongoing extensive testing is being completed, by The Aeghion Union, and this will continue as the harvest commences additionally for incoming raw material, as well as for finished product as usual.

During our visit this week, there were further minor showers. The forecast for the next 7-10 days is generally good, however rain is expected today. Any further rainfall could have a catastrophic impact upon crop quantity and quality, at this critical stage. Therefore, until the situation in clearer, packers are extremely reluctant to offer, even for early shipment, particularly as there is little or no carryover of unsold stock from the 2017 crop.

Assuming no further issues during drying, we expect opening prices for 2018 crop, to be at similar levels to closing prices for 2017 crop.

In view of  the upturn in raw material values, driven by the reduced acreage following years of grower dissatisfaction with prices, an increase in total crop volume was anticipated this season, towards 20,000mt Unfortunately, however, whilst it is difficult to calculate the impact of the adverse conditions on the crop size, the total may well be no higher than for the 2017 crop (around15,000mt).

date:  Aug 02, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Prospects for the 2018 Greek Currants crop
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More