Development on new 2018 Turkish vine fruit crop

Chelmer Foods visited Turkey last week, please see the below update:

Development of New Crop

It’s undeniable that the progress of new crop is ahead compared to last year, the general feeling is it’s somewhere between 10 to 14 days ahead. Weather conditions throughout the risky frost period of March to April have been almost perfect, with a few localised frosts and rainfall not affecting the development in any significant quantity. One concern that a number of parties we speak to in Turkey have is the overall bud count on the vines compared to last year, with regional differences showing either an almost identical number (possibly even slightly up) compared to last year whilst some regions are drastically down. There is the feeling that it’s still slightly too early to tell how big the new crop is going to be and in the next two weeks we should see a much more clearly defined picture. 

If we were going to put an estimated figure out there for the coming crop then we would suggest that the coming crop should be min 270,000mt and max 320,000mt. Turkish packers will always tell you that you don’t get a good crop follow a good but potentially there will be three good years on the trot. This can be put down to changing weather patterns globally, improved farming techniques amongst the larger growers and new vines yielding fruit for the first time. This could push the overall expectation of what a good crop in Turkey looks like upwards towards the 350,000mt level, how realistic this talk is remains to be seen in the coming years.

Increase in Thompson Production to Reduce Sultana Availability

One of the largest factors that is likely to affect pricing going forward is the worldwide demand for Thompson Raisins as Californian crop faces continued reduced crop size compared to the average over the last 5 years. If we say that during 2017 crop there was around 20,000 to 25,000mt dried as raisins due to the cost differential between Sultanas & Raisins in Turkey in terms of raw material price from farmers into the packers (Sultanas 5.3 TL/kg & Raisins 9 TL/KG) we would expect more and more farmers to make that switch this year. The number being banded around by the industry is that the tonnage dried this coming crop may, with good weather conditions during the harvest (Thompsons take longer to dry than Sultanas), increase to somewhere between 50,000 to 60,000mt, this therefore would put pressure on the overall availability of sultanas and in theory close the gap in terms of raw material cost. Both farmers and packers are both well informed on worldwide market prices so with both Chile & South Africa now sold out of Thompsons they will be eyeing up a price increase.

TMO & Election Influence

Last week the government announced that on the 24th June 2018 there will be presidential and parliamentary elections in a bold move to seize the momentum and gain a larger ruling majority in parliament. At this moment it’s highly likely that the existing president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, will easily win and this is expected to bring some stability to the country. The reason the election may have some influence on the pricing of fruit forward is to do with the use of the TMO (Turkish Monopolies Organisation) to stabilise and increase the prices paid to farmers for material, something they did with a relative amount of success for 2017 crop. By using the TMO to do this the government would have to make some sort of pledge regarding the raw material price long before the actual harvest of the crop so it’s fraught with risk and at this stage completely hypothetical, although in Turkey there’s often no smoke without fire. Why the government may be prepared to take such a huge risk is because they see the areas of Manisa and Izmir as key areas for them to win, something they haven’t done in recent elections, so they are playing to the farmers need & desire for higher pricing.

Pricing Forward 

Whilst there are some speculators in the market regarding new crop prices these are only coming from packers that are notorious for trying to buy business and subsequently have been withdrawn as the market firmed a little. As yet it’s too early to say with absolute definition where the prices will be for the coming crop. You have to look at the overall worldwide demand to see that existing price levels from Turkey are extremely competitive when comparing to USA Raisins around $4000mt (including 2.4% duty) & Greek Currants around €2800mt, so if we look forward the price is poised to potentially go upwards to get closer to other vine fruit prices but a decent sized crop could force prices down. It’s a 50/50 call that will play out in the coming months.

In the short term before new crop we will not see any significant reduction as available raw material has almost exhausted itself from farmers into packers, although that’s not to say packers aren’t sitting on unsold quantities. For specific enquiries as always let us know and we’ll offer our best advice on whether the timing is right to book or to wait that little bit longer.

date:  Apr 27, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Development on new 2018 Turkish vine fruit crop
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Almond acerage report

On April 25th NASS released the Almond Acreage Report for 2017.  California’s total almond acreage is estimated at 1,330,000 acres, which is up 7% from last year’s estimate of 1,240,000.

Of the total acreage for 2017 1,000,000 acres were bearing.  Preliminary bearing acres are estimated at 1,070,000 for 2018.

The acreage number helps clarify some discussions regarding 2018 crop potential.  Based on previous crop years and using both NASS and Land IQ data we see a range of crop possibilities.  Most industry members agree that there was some damage during bloom, but it is still too early to know the extent of the damage.  For simplicity we have used rough numbers of 5 and 10 percent damage. Here is a breakdown of potential crop outcomes using both NASS and Land IQ acreage and yield per acre data.


Estimated Crop:                                              2,466,399,265

Estimated Crop 5% Loss:                                 2,343,079,302

Estimated Crop 10% Loss:                               2,219,759,339


Land IQ

Estimated Crop:                                              2,367,784,232

Estimated Crop 5% damage:                         2,249,395,020

Estimated Crop 10% damage:                        2,131,005,809


NASS bearing acres                                         1,070,000

NASS avg. Yield/Acre (2010-2017)                  2,305


Land IQ bearing acres (Estimate)                    1,111,813

Land IQ avg. Yield/Acre (2010-2017)             2,130

Leading up today’s report the market gained some ground back after losing some steam about a week ago. California and Carmel Type varieties have seen steady demand with limited offers from California. Prices on these varieties have reached $2.80-$2.90 per pound for SSR material, and for Supreme $2.95-$3.10 per pound.  Nonpareil is still moving forward with prices nearly flat to last week, and some could argue slightly down on pricing for supreme grade.

The remaining balance of the crop year will be nip and tuck on several items, as we could potentially see a carry out of less than 325 million pounds.  Prior to this year the carry out percentage has been around 15.5% starting in 2010, which we could potentially see a 12.6% carry out this season.

The market will most likely continue to see limited offers on California and Carmel Type items, and prices should remain strong as we move through the summer months.

To clarify our view on the report, we believe that taking into account the TNT report it was expected we could potentially have a crop in the region of 2.51 billion lbs, this view was based on there expectation of a higher than usual yield. If we take into account the average yield over the past 5 years it would actually give a crop of 2.35 billion lbs. Therefore expectation of the crop has to lie somewhere in between these 2 figures.

date:  Apr 26, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Almond acerage report
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Pecan market information

We would like to update you with the latest information of the Pecans kernels market, based on the market information that we obtained from our partners at origin.

Over the last few months buyers have been covering heavily and shipments have been fairly strong. Now over the last few weeks there has been a notable slow down of this as processors look to take stock of there positions and forecast there balances to see them through until the end of the season. Prices have been fairly stable and most processors are sold or close to a sold position.

The quality for the current crop has been, for the most part, very good.

Early estimates and weather patterns are already pointing to a short crop for next season, that said tariffs in China will have an impact on requirements and it’s not unlikely that these two events could offset each other from a supply and demand picture.

We expect pecan prices to firm slightly and then remain stable for the rest of the season.

We are recommending that buyer’s cover their pecan demand through the new crop (late 2018). With shippers expecting to receive a premium for carrying the raw material holding these in cold store warehousing, and with generally little limited supply, it’s best to take cover sooner rather than waiting.

date:  Apr 26, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Pecan market information
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

March Shipment Report – Almond Update

The total shipments have been 193.945.114 lb. versus 178.190.602 lb., +8.8% in the same month last year. The uncommitted inventory is now 551.913.639 lb., -10% than last year.

This is the sixth month in a row of record shipments and the overall figures ranged on the upper end of expectations. Domestic shipments were very impressive and up a record 12.6% at 63.28 mm lbs. Export shipments are up a strong 7.1% at 130.67 mm lbs, led be China, up 28% (13.77 mm) and Western Europe up 15% (56.73 mm). India was again down 25% (9.45 mm) for the month, although still up 24% for the year, and Middle East down 18% (15.65 mm lbs) for the month, however also still up 3% on the year. Again and again 2017 crop continues to perform beyond expectation.

Coming into April, the industry was poised for another strong report, although this may be stronger than most were predicting. Overall, shipments are still pacing almost 12% ahead of last year, with inventory down 5.63%. Commitments are flat to last year after a few months of regression, though inventory still down 10%. New sales were similar to last month, yet better than expected at 112 mm lbs.  This is impressive given the frost concerns and prices rising and most recently succumbing some of their gains.  Crop receipts added little to the supply in March with 6.3 million lbs – no surprises here.

If the industry ships the same than last year in the next months until July, will be around 310/330 Mlls.lbs. carry-out. And this can be considered very low in the actual circumstances, when right now it is quite difficult to find concrete items in the market. We expect shipments to gradually slow down pace as we move into summer (due to supply) and carryout to hone in near 350-360 mm lbs. To most everyone’s relief pricing has seen some softening from the post freeze highs, with standards trading between $2.65-68, Cal SSR 27/30 near $2.85-87, and NPX 27/30 $3.40-3.42.

Everybody is now anticipating TERRANOVA’s estimation to be published soon.We feel most growers are anticipating a figure close to last year’s overall supply while most buyers are anticipating a record supply, perhaps even close an average yield per acre (2.45 bb lbs).  With all the anticipation it is hard to imagine a scenario where prices aren’t affected.

Key dates:

23rd April, NASS Almond Acreage Report.

10th May, Subjective Estimation.

5th July, Objective Estimation.

date:  Apr 13, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on March Shipment Report – Almond Update
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Frosts hamper crops in Chinese growing regions

The frost and snow in North China have damaged dried nuts and fruit trees. The stricken area spreads over walnut and apricot origins such as Shanxi, Shaanxi, Henan, Hebei and Liaoning.

As usual, the weather pattern is cool and unsettled for most of the period in April. However the trees have started to bloom 7-10 days earlier this Spring due to unusual warm/hot weather with temperature of 20-30 degree. The sharp drop in temperature up to minus 4-5 degree all of sudden has severely pounded the blossom and bud as they were just in pollination period.

The damage seems heavy and it is being regarded as one of the most serious over the past 20 years in Shangle/Shaanxi. Due to geographic difference for all origins, we cannot yet evaluate the actual loss, but some estimate about 20-50% depending origin. Hopefully such news will not affect walnut market too much as they only account for 30% of the total production in China, but for for Apricot kernels, it might be another picture as Hebei and Gansu are two top origins.

date:  Apr 11, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Frosts hamper crops in Chinese growing regions
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Greek Currants market update

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.

date:  Mar 26, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Greek Currants market update
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

California Walnut Board – February 2018 Position Report

As of Friday,  March 9th, the California Walnut Board released the February 2018 Position Report.

Shipments for the month ended February 2018 were down approximately 5.2% versus February 2017 shipments and YTD ended February 2018 were down approximately 14.1% from the same YTD period the year prior.

For your review is a summary comparison on an inshell comparable basis using an identical shell out rate of 44.1% for both years:

Inshell             Inshell

Equiv.              Equiv.

Tons               Tons             %

Feb. 2018      Feb. 2017     Chg

Crop Receipts                       627,798        679,225    -7.6%

Total Supply                          683,774        744,395    -8.1%

Monthly Shipments              48,525         51,203      -5.2%

Export Shipments                35,966          36,866      -2.4%

Domestic Shipments            12,559         14,337      -12.4%

YTD Shipments                     401,426       467,168     -14.1%

YTD Export Shipments         289,458       349,437     -17.2%

YTD Domestic Shipments   111,968       117,731      -4.9%

Inventory                                282,348      277,227     +1.8%

Shipments as % of Crop         63.9%       68.80%

Shipments as % of Supply     58.7%       52.80%

Shipments of 48,525 for the month of February 2018 were down 5.2% compared with February 2017 at 51,203 while YTD shipments of 401,426 ton are 65,742 ton or 14.1% behind the same YTD period the previous year.  Commensurately,  2017-2018 crop receipts are down by 51,427 ton which is less than the 65,742 ton that we are behind in sales and the 60,662 ton reduction in total supply.   We continue the seasonal downward trend in monthly sales with November 2017 at 99,091 ton,  December 2017 at 67,633 ton, January 2018 at 55,632 ton and now February 2018 of 48,525 ton but importantly, in order to carry out a similar 56,000 ton,  the industry needs to average 37,724 ton in each of the next 6 months which seems reasonable.   Shipments for the month did little to hurt the average needed to carry out a reasonable 56,000 ton crop amount.

Shipments as a percentage of supply are 58.7% for 2017-2018 versus 52.8% for 2016-2017 or a roughly 5.9% decline.  Domestic shipments for the month were down 12.4% while export shipments were down 2.4%. Total YTD shipments are down 14.1%.


date:  Mar 13, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on California Walnut Board – February 2018 Position Report
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

February 2018 Almond position report

February 2018 shipments were 190.13 million pounds.

This is 24.9% compared with February 2017 shipments of 152.26 million pounds.

Everyone’s attention over the past few weeks has been on the freezing temperatures and what impact it will have on the forthcoming 2018 crop. Prior to the frost, bloom had been shaping up nicely with heavy bud set in all regions.  At the time of the frost in Mid-February Nonpareil as well as other pollinators were well into bloom stages. The north was well ahead of other growing areas, particularly the southern state. The weather is a result of a dry and persistent high pressure system that left and made way for a cold front that swooped into the western United States.  The only good news is snowfall percentages made up for significant loss ground.  However California is still far behind averages for the year.

While still not much is known about the overall loss potential we have continued to be cautiously optimistic about the overall crop size.  Assumptions still range from 5-20% bloom and nutlet loss. Prior to the bloom debacle 2018 crop ideas ranged from 2.45 to 2.55 bb lbs.  Calmer minds have more recently discussed 2018 crop supply ranging from 2.2 to 2.3 bb lbs.  This to us is a more likely scenario given what little we do and do not know about 2018 crop damage at this point.

Shipments for the month totaled 190.13 million pounds, up an astounding 24.9%. This is now the fifth month in a row reaching records shipments.  . Overall shipments are pacing 12% above last year at 1.422 bb lbs.

The culmination of heavy shipments and sales is now starting to bring pressure to readily available goods – namely California types. It is becoming apparent that the transition inventory between crops is going to be very tight.  While complicated to measure, California is well on its way carrying out 350 mm lbs if shipment figures in the remaining 5 months are the same as last year.

date:  Mar 12, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on February 2018 Almond position report
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Turkish Vine Fruit Weather Warning

Temperatures in and around Izmir in Turkey, the growing region of sultanas & raisins, reached a high of 22 degrees Celsius over the weekend. The warm weather has now been fairly well set for the last two weeks, compared to 2017 these consistent temperatures are 3 weeks early, and this has caused some of the vines to start budding. This is something we usually don’t see until the end of March or start of April. Therefore the risk of frost only increases as we go into the month but how wide spread the budding is has yet to be determined.

The one thing that is certain is that farmers & packers in Turkey will be expecting the market to firm.

date:  Mar 12, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Turkish Vine Fruit Weather Warning
by:  Simon Heather category:  Latest News Read More

Turkish Apricot Update March 2018

2017 Crop

·     Exports in February were 7,740 tons, compared to 6,725 tons last year, an increase of 15%

·     Exports year to date are 67,103 tons compared to 55,953 tons last year, an increase of 20%

·     Average export price for whole apricots for February was $3028/ton FOB compared to $3109 last year.

Another strong export figure for February. Prices for this season are now converging with last seasons prices, and we expect in the next month or two at most for average monthly export prices to surpass last years.

Quality material size 5 and larger is no longer available in the daily market in Malatya, any remaining stock is in the hands of packers. We do not think any packers have significant long positions.

We conclude that the crop will be exported in its entirety, longer term price trends will be dictated by the weather over the coming weeks.

2018 Crop

Bloom has started, on average we are a week to 10 days earlier than normal. As of today about 20% of the bloom is open, this will increase to around 50% by the weekend, and up to 75% by end of next week. Weather for the next six weeks is crucial for determining the 2018 crop tonnage (and for the following 3 months for the quality). Currently there are no frosts forecast for the next 10 days, though temperatures around zero are forecast for Saturday morning.

There has been some rain over the past month, but reservoirs are less than 50% and a lot more is needed if problems are to be avoided during the summer.

date:  Mar 06, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Turkish Apricot Update March 2018
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More