Monthly Archives August 2019

Turkish Vine Fruit Update

Last week our procurement and technical team spent a number of days visiting our suppliers of Raisins & Sultanas in Turkey to discuss and view the very beginning of 2019 harvest.

Having visited some of the same vineyards as last year it’s clear that the quality of this crop will be better than last year as long as we don’t experience any rain in the next 5 weeks. The damages on the vines were nowhere near as extensive or wide spread as last year. Damages last year meant it took between 5 to 6 kg of fresh to equate to 1kg of dried, this year it should be back to the 4kg fresh to 1kg dried levels of previous years.

The number of bunches per vine and the subsequent berry count per bunch are also looking good in comparison to last year. The physical size of the berries do look smaller when comparing but this doesn’t always equate to a smaller dried berry. The expectation is that the official Turkish Standards berry counts will remain as the same but the reality of what is packed will be counts hitting the middle to higher end of those levels.

So given that it looks like we’re in for a better quality crop what does that mean we should expect for new crop tonnage and pricing?

Well on Thursday last week the Ministry of Agriculture announced the official crop estimation at 300,000 tonnes against 261,000 tonnes in 2018, an increase of around 14%. You might think that’s good news but when expectation has been for a crop to be hitting 320 to 330,000 tonnes it does mean even though there’s a sizable increase it has tempered expectations of immediate price decreases. This announcement has understandably put the brakes on new sales as packers want to see how the market reacts and how quickly farmers will deliver their material. Whilst also announcing the estimate the ministry also declared that they will support the market/farmer by buying raw material at 10 Turkish Lira per kg for STD 9 sultanas. They will only enter the market if prices start to be traded lower than that, a number of growers were expecting 9 to 9.5 TL/kg prior to the announcement. As we’ve had two and a bit days of trading locally in Turkey since the announcement of the estimation we have seen prices open at 10 TL/Kg for STD 9 sultanas as expected, the TMO (government) remain inactive at present.

Farmers will be happy at this level if it continues in the longer term but that’s a big if. Something that’s not necessarily easy to predict if it will be the case.

Over the last 12 months we’ve had to closely monitor the economical situation in Turkey regarding the huge devaluation of the Lira against the USD and monitor any potential political powder kegs that might have an impact. We’ve gone through potential fallout with President Trump regarding Russian weapon systems, fallout with Trump over the detention of a US Pastor based in Turkey, internal uproar at the challenge of the Istanbul Mayoral election result and the huge increases in interest rates paid domestically (USD from 4% to 14% & Lira from 18% to 40%). The outlook for Turkey at the moment is positive in the fact that the rhetoric around Turkey coming out of the US is now of a fairly conciliatory tone, the political situation in Turkey is fairly stable after the result of the re-run Istanbul election was immediately accepted by President Erdogan and the interest rates have fallen back close to previous levels (USD 6% & Lira 20%).

We’re hopeful that after a number of turbulent years the number of influencing factors on pricing is going to be much more predictable and in line with previous years. Huge variances on raw material prices, interest rates and exchange rates do the stability of pricing no favour. This stability is something the farmers, processors, importers and customers crave but it’s difficult to keep everyone happy.

One variance we know we’re going to face is less of a carryover of old crop into new, which will counteract any increase in new crop size. The carryover of 2017 into 2018 was circa 30,000 tonnes whereas 2018 into 2019 is expected to be less than 10,000 tonnes, thus making 2018 available material 291,000 tonnes against 310,000 tonnes this year. Exported material from Sept 2018 to end August 2019 is due to hit 265-270,000 tonnes alongside a domestic market usage of 30,000 tonnes. In theory the expected carryover and new crop estimate should just be enough to meet supply for the coming season, if the new crop estimate figure can be believed.

The demand for new crop shipments is going to be particularly huge over the coming 8 weeks as shippers/importers look to restock an empty market due to the expected price easing. We have seen enquiries from a number of importers in France, Germany & Holland for material on the spot as they are waiting for new crop to arrive and have to keep their customers going. Prices are certainly not going to decrease in the short term.

date:  Aug 28, 2019 comments:  Comments Off on Turkish Vine Fruit Update
by:  Sian Koster category:  Latest News Read More

Almond Board July shipments

The California Almond Board has released the July Almond Shipment Report with RECORD JULY SHIPMENTS of +154.1 million pounds compared to 143.8 million pounds last year for an increase of +7.2 percent.

DOMESTIC         62.87 million pounds     +4.9%

EXPORT              91.32 million pounds     +8.9%

2018 CROP YEAR TO DATE SHIPMENTS:  The final shipment data for the 2018 crop is at +2.264 billion pounds compared to 2.251 billion pounds for an increase of +0.56 percent.

CROP Year to date total shipments

  • India                                 +16%
  • Spain                                -4%
  • Germany                          – 18%
  • Western Europe              -2%
  • South Korea                     +12%
  • Turkey                               – 30%
  • U A E                                 +9%
  • China/HK                          -25%

The final crop for 2018 crop is at +2.269 billion pounds.  We basically shipped the entire crop which was produced this past year.

CURRENCY: Volatility, potential interest rate adjustments, internal country conflicts, and trade wars seem to be highlighting all discussions.

  • 1 Euro is at $1.12 dollars
  • 1 Dollar is 7.04 Chinese Yuan
  • 1 Dollars is 71.12 India Rupee
  • 1 Dollar is 5.60 Turkish Lira

The Objective Crop Estimate is now at 2.2 billion pounds significantly lower than the Subjective Estimate of 2.5 billion pounds.  When this was announced in early July all prices jumped significantly ( increased 30- 40 cents per lbs for kernels) due to the concerns for a shortage of almonds in the coming crop.  Over the past month we seen all prices slide back approximately 10-20 cents per lbs for kernels and now more demand is starting to come into the markets as buyers are beginning to purchase new crop.  The Crop estimate is at 2.2 billion pounds yet many buyers and some growers believe the crop to be closer to 2.4 billion pounds.  Thus it is unknown what the real crop will be for a few more months until harvest is almost completed.  New sales during July were at  155,619,260 pounds.

Harvest has begun up and down the state of California during the past week. Normally we would begin the end of July and this year it was the 1st week/2nd week of August for many to begin.  It is extremely early to make any comments on sizing or coloring at this time.

Based on the position report, we are now at +16 percent sold based for new crop on a 2.2 billion pound crop and +15 percent sold based on a 2.4 billion pound new crop.

date:  Aug 15, 2019 comments:  Comments Off on Almond Board July shipments
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Walnuts July shipment report

The California Walnut Board released the July shipment report on Friday. Total shipments were 27,532 tons, up 3% from last June shipments of 26,739 tons. Domestic shipments were up 11.49% and exports were down 10.57%. Domestic shipments YTD are 223,591 tons, up 15.49% and exports YTD totals 425,903 tons, up 6.64%. Total YTD shipments are now at 649,494 tons, up 9.53% from this stage last year.

Using historical averages for August from 2016-2018, the estimated carryout is 57,584 tons.

Since the last report, and as discussed in our market update last week, the subjective packer estimate for the 2019 crop came out at 691,000 tons. This comes from a range of packer expectations between 680,000 and 700,000 tons. Note this is nothing official, and the official NASS estimate will be released in a few weeks. Some business has been done on new crop, JL Chandler inshell trading from $1.20-1.25/lb. FAS CA basis. Middle East seemed to been the most active, with India, Turkey and Europe feeling out the market as well.

date:  Aug 15, 2019 comments:  Comments Off on Walnuts July shipment report
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

News on Turkish VS Californian Raisins

There has been obvious discussion recently covering raisins, specifically Turkish. It has been highlighted that the United Kingdom are not favourable of Californian raisins due to there large premium.

However, with Californian Raisin prices equaling out with Turkeys Raisin prices, it is worth considering that customers in the United Kingdom may considering running back to the golden state Raisins, conspiring with its extensive marketing possibilities and better flavour profile.

date:  Aug 02, 2019 comments:  Comments Off on News on Turkish VS Californian Raisins
by:  Sian Koster category:  Latest News Read More