News

Prunes – crop outlook – South America

CHILE

Chile is facing a lot more showers than normal during summer. This is caused by the El Nino-effect. So far this is having no effect on the crop development. However during the harvest -starting within 3 weeks from now- and drying season -mid Feb till end March- they need dry weather!prunes
So far the indicated crop volume is a little lighter compared to last season.
ARGENTINA:

Where Chile is having more showers Argentina (Mendoza area) is reporting more thunderstorms with hail. It is too early to report a serious negative effect on the crop however we are not too positive.

date:  Feb 08, 2016 comments:  Comments Off on Prunes – crop outlook – South America
by:  Simon Heather category:  Latest News Read More

Californian Almond Article

They were blamed for planting too many trees, using too much water and worsening the effects of California’s epic drought. The state’s almond farmers responded by expanding their orchards in a bold wager that the sky-high prices the world was paying for almonds justified both the water use and long-term investment.

Now those farmers are dealing with a steep drop in prices – and wondering if the great almond boom that transformed Central Valley agriculture is starting to fizzle.

Almond prices in California have dropped significantly in the past few months. A farmer who could sell a pound of almonds for nearly $5 last summer is now getting as little as $3.10.

Farmers say a downturn was inevitable after years of rising prices and an explosion in production. Almond prices got so high that some consumers and food manufacturers started turning to other nuts they could use as substitutes. Recent developments in the global economy also have depressed prices, including the weakening of economies in key markets such as China.

“We hit record price levels, and at some point the elastic breaks,” said Mike Mason, chairman of the Almond Board of California and a grower in Kern County, home to one-fifth of the state’s almond crop. “Everybody expected that we would have a price correction.”

The consequences extend beyond the livelihoods of the state’s 6,000 or so almond growers. Much of the Central Valley economy has come to depend on almond farming, as lower-value crops such as cotton and alfalfa have surrendered land to new orchards.

Land devoted to almonds jumped from 590,000 acres in 2005 to an estimated 890,000 acres last year, according to the Almond Board, a grower-supported association. Farmers added 20,000 acres of almond trees last year alone. This happened even as critics questioned the shift of massive acreage to a permanent crop – and a relatively thirsty one – while the state was ordering deep cuts in urban water use and struggling to juggle competing water demands.

It’s not as if the price decline is bringing the almond industry to a screeching halt. Mason said prices have stabilized in recent weeks, and most experts say the industry’s long-term prospects remain strong. Even today’s lower prices are above the average for the past decade, and almond farming remains profitable for most growers, said farm economist Vernon Crowder, a senior vice president at Rabobank.

Richard Waycott, chief executive of the Almond Board, said farmers who are expanding their orchards won’t reverse course. Trees have been ordered and fields have been cleared. “A price correction here or there doesn’t necessarily have much of an immediate impact,” Waycott said. “Most growers … are looking at a 25- to 30-year horizon.”

Daniel Bays is one of those taking the long view. A third-generation almond grower in Patterson and Westley, near Interstate 5 west of Modesto, he replaced 80 acres of old trees last summer with a new orchard. Planting almond trees is expensive, and by the time Bays’ babies are producing nuts in three or four years, the new orchard will have cost $800,000. He said he does not regret the investment.

“The family’s been farming long enough that we know things go through cycles,” said Bays, whose family farms 600 acres of almonds and 900 acres of other crops.

Bays said prices of many other commodities such as tomatoes have been slipping as well. “There aren’t other crops at this point that are really looking all that much more appealing than almonds are, even with the decrease in price,” he said.

Still, the price drop is unsettling in much of the San Joaquin Valley, where almonds have become king. Buddy Mendes, chairman of the Fresno County Board of Supervisors, said falling almond prices means less money spent on farm equipment, less sales tax revenue and other economic effects.

“You’re going to see it trickle down,” he said.

The decline also could influence whether farmers south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta will agree to help pay for Gov. Jerry Brown’s Delta tunnels, the $15.5 billion plan to re-engineer the fragile estuary with the goal of improving reliability of water deliveries to Southern California cities and farms. Farmers have been questioning whether the tunnels would pencil out for them financially, and a sustained drop in nut prices could make the project an even tougher sell, said Ted Page, an almond grower and chairman of the Kern County Water Agency.

Nancy Vogel, a spokeswoman for Brown’s Natural Resources Agency, said decisions on the tunnels will go beyond the “daily fluctuations of commodity prices.”

While no one’s predicting a major shift away from almonds, some experts say the decline in prices could bring a pause in the relentless planting that has seen almond acreage grow 50 percent in the past decade.

“It will affect some planting decisions,” said Rocque Merlo of Merlo Farming Group, a farm-management operation based in Oroville. “There are investors who will look at that. When we get into a free fall like we just experienced, that changes mindsets.”

A slowdown would be welcome news for many environmentalists and other Californians who argue farmers have no business planting trees in regions of the state, particularly the San Joaquin Valley, that are naturally arid and rely on water delivered by canal from Northern California. The fact that almond orchards cannot be fallowed in a drought – unlike, say, tomatoes or cotton fields – just puts more pressure on state and federal agencies to keep pumping water through the Delta to keep valley orchards irrigated.

“It hardens the demand for water exports from the Delta,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parilla, executive director of an advocacy group called Restore the Delta. “Hopefully, (the price decline) will stop the rush to plant thousands more acres of almonds in desert areas where almonds should not be grown.”

As government agencies have curtailed deliveries during the drought, almond farmers rushed to protect their $10,000-an-acre investments. They fallowed their tomato fields and other row crops to divert water to their almond orchards.

They also increased their groundwater pumping to keep the trees alive. That contributed to the alarming depletion of aquifers and exacerbated the phenomenon known as subsidence, in which portions of the Central Valley are sinking.

“You don’t really have a legitimate water supply for this crop in this part of the world,” said Adam Keats, a senior attorney and water expert at the Center for Food Safety in San Francisco. “They’ve been stealing as much water as they can from elsewhere in the state to grow almonds.”

Almond industry officials counter that farmers are using water much more efficiently than they did in the 1990s, when the almond boom in California began. While almonds are a comparatively thirsty crop, farmers say there are others that require more water per pound of production. Growers also say it makes a lot more sense to use scarce water supplies on a high-value crop such as almonds, which have soared in popularity in recent years, than a low-revenue crop such as alfalfa.

“Farmers are just responding to what the consumers want,” said Paul Ewing, a grower and processor in Los Banos. “You need a lot of water to grow any food. I think almonds got an unfair shake … with all the press.”

The Almond Board says California farmers apply 3 million acre-feet of water to their almond trees each year. That represents about 7 percent of the state’s “developed” water consumption. Put another way, the state’s 6,000 almond farmers use roughly 35 times the volume of water consumed by the 466,000 residents of the city of Sacramento last year.

The state’s almond crop, valued at $2.53 billion in 2005, peaked at $6.38 billion in 2013. It dropped off to $5.89 billion in 2014, the last year for which figures were available, as water shortages cut into yields. Still, almonds remain California’s No. 2 agricultural product, after the dairy industry, and are the state’s leading farm export, far and away. California’s climate is ideally suited for almond production, and the state is responsible for 80 percent of the world’s supply and 99 percent of the U.S. supply.

Almonds’ image as a healthy, nutritious snack has helped sales blossom in western Europe, China and elsewhere. Flexing its considerable marketing muscle, Sacramento’s Blue Diamond Growers became the “official snack nut” supplier of the U.S. ski and snowboarding teams during the 2014 Winter Olympics, and the company’s Almond Breeze milk alternative will be the “official almond milk” of the U.S. volleyball team at this year’s Summer Olympics.

Blue Diamond declined comment for this story, referring questions about almond prices to the Almond Board.

Almonds’ growing popularity naturally drove prices upward. The average price paid to growers jumped from $1.45 a pound in 2008 to $3.19 in 2014, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

USDA figures for 2015 are not yet available, but growers and processors say prices generally shot up to around $4.50 a pound last summer. Merlo Farming Group, which informally tracks industry prices, says nonpareil almonds, considered the premium variety, sold for as much as $4.98 a pound last July. Since then, Merlo said prices have fallen to $3.10 a pound for nonpareils. Some varieties are selling for less than $3 a pound.

What happened? Some growers say prices simply got too high, prompting some consumers and food manufacturers to reduce demand or switch to alternatives such as walnuts.

“When they get to $4.50 or four bucks (a pound), people aren’t going to buy them,” said Page, the head of the Kern water agency.

Adding to that downward pressure: a surprisingly strong 2015 crop. Production was about 10 percent greater than expected despite water shortages, said Crowder, the bank economist.

Crowder said international finance also played a role, a significant factor in a business that exports about two-thirds of its production. The strong U.S. dollar made almonds more expensive overseas, and China scaled back purchases as its economy faltered. Exports fell 14 percent in the last five months of 2015 compared with the year before, the Almond Board reported.

One thing led to another: As prices tumbled, some importers in Dubai and India defaulted on purchases that had been locked in at earlier, higher prices.

“We had some deals that fell apart overseas,” Crowder said. “You have almonds sitting, waiting to find a place.”

The price correction came faster than most analysts expected, but Crowder and others said the lower prices have customers warming up to almonds again.

“Now it’s $2.75, $3,” Page said. “I think that’s more normal. Then you have … lots of use, lots of consumption at that level.

“At $2.75, you’re still making money,” he said. “You’re just not making an obscene amount of money.”

 

Source: http://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/water-and-drought/article57432423.html

date:  Feb 05, 2016 comments:  Comments Off on Californian Almond Article
by:  Simon Heather category:  Latest News Read More

Week Report of Sultana Raisin – Turkish Origin

We started new year with low price and this week the market price is getting high again.mixed-fruit-1

You can see below differences between weeks and years both price and quantity.

Between 01/09/2015 and 23/01/2016 , The exported quantity have reached 88.300 mt with an average price of 2.145 usd / ton.  Last season  (2014 crop) at the same date, the exported quantity was125.000 mt with an average price of 1.813 usd / ton.

Lets look at compare by week this year and last year second week of January;

17/01/ 2015-23/01/2015  ;  4.000 mt was exported with average price of usd 1.802USD / ton.  And  same week  17/01/2016-23/01/2016 ; 3.000 mt was shipped with average price of  2.172 usd / ton.

 

date:  Jan 28, 2016 comments:  Comments Off on Week Report of Sultana Raisin – Turkish Origin
by:  Simon Heather category:  Latest News Read More

South African Field Report January 2016

Vine Fruit:

The weather has been extremely hot the last month in Upington… and then it started to rain over the week end.

Since then it has been wet and cloudy, definitely not ideal conditions for the crop. Our initial view is that the crop may be reduced by 5 000 tons to 50 000 tons (vs 60 000 tons produced in 2015), but by next week, when dry weather has been forecasted we will have a better idea.fruit2

Initially we planned to offer some volumes this week, but it will be very risky, bearing in mind up to 150 mm has been reported in some areas. I would rather want to delay once we have a better picture regarding the crop.

Some exporters did offer volumes long in advance, but we would rather follow a more cautious approach as we do not want to offer significant volumes of product still to be harvested. Some product will be offered once we have a better feel what was the impact of the rain on the crop.  The rain will reduce availability of the lighter color product. The impact on quality will be determined by next week.

OR sultanas will be limited due to the lower grading farmers receive for this product. We do expect some WP sultanas to be dried this year.

The currant crop, produced in Vredendal, will be smaller than PY, due to hot weather experienced during blossom time.

 

Tree Fruit:

The apricot crop is much smaller than previous year and we are cautious in offering . The pear and peach volumes as well as quality should be similar vs PY. Limited volumes of mango will also be available this year.

date:  Jan 28, 2016 comments:  Comments Off on South African Field Report January 2016
by:  Simon Heather category:  Latest News Read More

Dessicated Coconut market update

Market update from European traders:

Unchanged market

JANUARY 18, 2016coconut1

So crude oil continues to weaken even further and with news of Iran’s oil production will now enter the world market its moving even lower. Dropping on trading today below $28 a barrel. So whilst Palm Production is starting to slip mainly caused by ‘El Nino’ prices are falling as demand for edible oils weakens because of the crude oil price. Coconut oil prices are rising slightly as lower crops impacts prices but weaken edible oils in general is keeping prices from running away. Coconut oil does not share the same bio-fuel demand so its not as susceptible to weak crude as Palm Oil is. Low nuts supply is slowly forcing up prices.

Desiccated prices are slowly climbing as well. There have been rumors swirling round of a number of containers of desiccated contaminated with Salmonella in Germany which is driving some buyers to the safety of Philippine material. SO whilst prices from Indonesia are rising Philippine prices are rising faster. Only Sri Lanka price is dipping as very low freight rates and weak Middle East demand push there prices lower.

January 17, 2016

The market is overall firmer than it was last week. Philippines – Prices are definitely showing signs of firming up here. Many factories are are abstaining from offers. All factories are completely sold out for Jan deliveries and many are fully committed for Feb as well. In all likelihood should an order be placed today in the Philippines, if one is lucky a delivery would be made in Feb, but more than likely deliveries will either be 2nd half feb or roll over into March. Supplies are without doubt a problem with mills struggling to secure raw nuts for production of DC, Coconut oil and other coconut related products. Indonesia – the supply situation in Indonesia is even worse than that of the Philippines and all mills continue to struggle to secure adequate supplies of raw materials to run their factories. Many are producing intermittently based on arrival of raw nuts. Delays in shipments are being experienced and is to be expected further as we get on in the month. Like the Philippines, many factories are reluctant to quote but for those who are quoting, we are seeing a price escalation week on week of between USD100/mt to USD200/mt depending on the mill. Vietnam – supplies are low and they are dealing with huge demand coming from their behemoth of a neighbor China for the upcoming Chinese New Year festivities. Factories are having their limited available capacities taken up by Chinese demand which is usually a border based trade. Sri Lanka – prices here have shown some signs of ease. This however is not something to be surprised with because Sri Lankan pricing prior to the holidays were at record highs ie much higher than any other origin, and all that is happening now is that prices are rationalizing to more realistic market levels. The oil market remains firm, particularly that of Coconut oil which is outperforming even Palm Oil. One has to consider that in a period of relatively low demand which is typical at the beginning of a year, prices are still firming. What will happen when demand begins in earnest? All signs and signals still point to market prices moving northwards as we get on in the 1st quarter and we would think that if one has a requirement it is better to buy now than wait in anticipation of the market going down because on the face of it, this does not seem likely in any origin.

January 12, 2016

Looking at the nut and dried fruit markets over the last couple of years, many could be described as volatile, erratic or unstable. Almond prices continue to rise, driven by lack of rain in the main producer California. Hazelnut prices have fallen sharply, after rising to an all-time high in May. Turkish sultana prices are significantly higher this year due to a damaging spring frost. While dried apricot prices have been falling from last year’s peak. Desiccated coconut is no exception, with a largely unpredictable trend over the past couple of years.

desiccated coconut prices

The Philippines is the main global exporter of desiccated coconut, accounting for more than a third of exports. Early in 2014, Philippine desiccated coconut prices rose sharply in response to the destruction left by Typhoon Haiyan. The typhoon caused catastrophic damage to agriculture and infrastructure in the Philippines and resulted in a large number of fatalities. This year, prices have fallen to pre-Haiyan levels, plummeting 45% since the beginning of the year. To understand why the prices have fallen, we need to consider several factors.

The price of desiccated coconut closely follows the price of coconut oil. When the price of coconut oil rises, desiccated coconut prices will soon follow and vice versa, as they compete for the same raw material — raw coconut. The price of coconut oil is largely driven by price trends in other vegetable oil markets, in particular palm oil, due to the oil’s interchangeability. In addition, the price of crude oil can be a factor as vegetable oils are also used in renewable fuels.

With crude oil prices falling dramatically over the past eighteen months, the demand for vegetable oils as a source of biofuel has fallen. There has been a pressure from palm oil and palm kernel oil markets due to ample supplies, with prices of both oils falling by 55% and 50% between March 2014 and September 2015. The combination of these factors has contributed to lower coconut oil prices and consequently led to lower desiccated coconut prices.

There have also been some aggressive selling strategies from smaller producers in Indonesia, Sri Lanka or Vietnam, which have further supported the downward trend in the desiccated coconut markets.

In the past few weeks, however, the price fall has slowed, with El Niño cited as the main reason. Dry weather in parts of Southeast Asia has driven palm oil prices upwards and, with coconut trees believed to be affected by the lack of rain, the price of desiccated coconut seems to have plateaued for the time being.

Crude oil

JANUARY 11, 2016

At the moment crude oil seems to be driving the direction of the market. Crude oil rallied slightly last week but again issues with China are weighing heavily pushing prices down, In fact some analysts are now even talking about $20 a barrel being possible. So whilst Palm Oil crops are reducing so is the demand for Palm as a Bio Fuel. Some believe that this will only lead to a bigger jump in Palm oil prices later in the year. Coconut oil prices have been rising even with low Palm Oil prices as lower crops have been constricting supply.

Desiccated prices have been rising since the start of the year. Low supply of nuts has been pushing up prices since the end of last year and is continuing now. Today tales of price increases in Indonesia of $100-200 per mt. Only Sri Lanka has reported prices falling but prices there were much higher then other origins anyway.

date:  Jan 27, 2016 comments:  Comments Off on Dessicated Coconut market update
by:  Simon Heather category:  Latest News Read More

What’s happening with Pumpkin?

Prices have dropped quickly these last months and many packers are searching for options to sell.

Quality is still good in the market and also for the packers it is quite easy to buy good raw material from the farmers.

At the moment we do not see any indications why prices should rise again, but there is a possibility that after Chinese new year more people will start with buying which will make the prices increase again.

If you need to cover material, we think it is a very interesting period to buy.

Also for longer spreads.hugh

Since business is unsure at the moment, packers are willing to close some long term contracts simply to ensure their businesses for a longer term.

As we move further into 2016, stocks will slowly come under pressure which will have influence on the price later on. We expect that this will be visible in the price after April.

 

In case you have questions of enquiries, do not hesitate and contact us via hugh@chelmerfoods.com

date:  Jan 25, 2016 comments:  Comments Off on What’s happening with Pumpkin?
by:  Simon Heather category:  Latest News Read More

Update on the Sunflower market…

As we all know we had a warm first half of the winter season, due of tsunflowerhis warm period the sunflower demand decreased the last two months.

We have seen a price decrease of about 20 euro/mt during December and January.

Many packers and farmers are searching for opportunities to push there material these days.

Some of them are even offering near to there costs price to make sure the factories can keep running.

Last week it finally become more cold and maybe the real winter has arrived.

We expect that now winter is there the demand on the sunflower in increase again.

We believe that we have reached the bottom of the price for this crop and that we slowly get back to higher levels.

Our advise is to cover your sunflower in this period, to be ensured of material, good quality and a interesting price.

For any enquiries, contact hugh@chelmerfoods.com

date:  Jan 25, 2016 comments:  Comments Off on Update on the Sunflower market…
by:  Simon Heather category:  Latest News Read More

Currant prices steady…

The Greek currant market remains unchanged with offers of good quality Provincial fruit available between EUR1,350-1,400 (USD1,462-1,517) per tonne fob Piraeus, with premium grades such as Vostizza at a premium of EUR100-150/tonne on this figure.019

The use of Greek currants has seen a resurgence over the past few months due to their very competitive price. Progress in the longer term seems likely to be slow as this year Greece has recorded a much smaller tonnage due to earlier weather problems. If present demand continues, there should be sufficient fruit available to meet forward orders until the new crop becomes available in September. Prices of Greek currants are expected to remain stable up until this time. The increase in the value of the euro against sterling has had a negative impact on the costs of currants for UK buyers, but even so currants still remain the cheapest of the three types of vine fruit traditionally used for Easter baking. This year sees the earliest Easter holiday for many years, which means that there will be a shorter time for retailers and manufacturers to market and sell traditional Easter bakery products such as hot cross buns. This may reduce demand for vine fruits but hot cross buns, Simnel cakes and other seasonal lines still retain their popularity.

Credit… Andrew Ciclitira

date:  Jan 22, 2016 comments:  Comments Off on Currant prices steady…
by:  Simon Heather category:  Latest News Read More

Turkish sultana sales start to pick up…

Sources in Izmir, Turkey, report that sales of Turkish sultanas have started to increase for the new year, which is positive news for the Turkish dried fruit industry.

Offers of Turkish sultanas vary from packer to packer and in some instances depend on a particular company’s strategy or willingness to sell. Some offersingredients2 of sultanas have now been seen below USD1,900 per tonne fob whilst others have risen above USD2,000/tonne fob. It is therefore difficult to predict where the market will go and much will depend on any information about the size and quality of this year’s new crop of sultanas and raisins. Pedictions are that the crop will be a larger one if weather conditions remain favourable. The downside is there is unlikely to be a significant carry-over of unsold fruit from the previous year, as was the case last season, so prices could theoretically open at the same levels as at the close of the season. If unsold fruit does start to become short in the coming months, both farmers and packers may have an opportunity to hold back their stocks, so increasing export prices. The volatility of the currency markets will also have a major impact going forward with most financial experts predicting a stronger US dollar against both the Turkish lira and sterling. Buyers do therefore need to consider their requirements of Turkish fruit up until the new crop as it would seem more probable for prices to increase rather than fall from today’s levels.

Credit… Andrew Ciclitira

date:  Jan 22, 2016 comments:  Comments Off on Turkish sultana sales start to pick up…
by:  Simon Heather category:  Latest News Read More

Inventory Position Reports for Raisins/Almonds/Walnuts from California from Fresh Pacific…

Raisins

The industry is still trying to finalize the 2016 field price. Between the August 1 beginning inventory of 132,000 tons plus deliveries by independent g019rowers, the packers have enough inventory to take them through February. This is why it has taken so long to arrive at a 2016 grower field prices.

Wholesale prices will be very close to $1.00 to $1.05 CNF Asian/Pacific Ports. We do forecast slow increases in prices as we head towards 2016 crop.

Another 20,000 acres will probably be pulled out this year. The steady decline in bearing acreage will leave less and less tonnage available for export.

Next year’s crop will probably be closer to 300,000 than to 350,000 tons. With these numbers the 2016 field will definitely be higher.

Current reduction in sales of 8% will be offset by increased government purchases. Right now the US government will be purchasing about 20,000 tons in total for the 2015/2016 marketing year.

 

WalnutsPicture 1089

December sales were very good. The walnut industry will also be the benefactors of a government purchase. We have not seen the US Government solicitation but it is estimated to be between 15,000 and 20,000 tons. With the increase in sales and the US Government purchase it should dramatically decrease the carryout inventory into 2016. If the industry was able to hold 15% increase in sales, the carryout would be closer to historical averages. The industry must remain competitive because the 2016 crop may also be a fairly large crop because of the new bearing acreage. Chandler prices should start strengthening slightly. Non-Chandler products remain very competitive.

Almonds

Almond sales continue to trend down over last year’s sales. At today’s average decline of 12% , the 2016 Carryout would be the highest ever at over 575 million pounds or 27% of the 1.8 billion pound estimate. Right now grower deliveries have slightly exceeded the 2015 estimate. Prices are now trending closer to $3.00 rather than $4.00. We expect the Almond prices to continue to decline but not as much as they have over the past couple months.

date:  Jan 13, 2016 comments:  Comments Off on Inventory Position Reports for Raisins/Almonds/Walnuts from California from Fresh Pacific…
by:  Simon Heather category:  Latest News Read More