Author Archives Chris Wilding

Cranberry Crop update

Mother Nature provided a significant supply correction with an estimated crop US crop of 8,260,000 bbls, down 880,000 bbls from the CMCs projection of 9,141,000 bbls. That is about a 10% drop. One handler thought this was the largest crop decrease since 1976! Every single growing area was level or down, both within the US and growing areas not covered by this order. Worldwide, the crop is estimated to be down 1,560,000 bbls.

When the CMC voted for an order in August, they had projected that a 15% order would reduce the US crop by 915,000 bbls. So poor growing conditions/weather did most of our work for us. Based on that information, the committee discussed the other items introduced in the Proposed Order by the USDA. The committee had recommended that every handler receive a 125,000 bbl exemption, so in other words the first 125,000 bbls of a handle is exempt. The USDA’s proposal is that handlers below 125,000 are exempt and those above are not exempt. This affects only 7-8 handlers out of the 60 total handlers and affects the smaller of these handlers disproportionately as they can’t spread the cost of disposal over as many barrels. There were many comments as to the fairness of the proposed changes. Take for example a 300,000 bbls handler. With the CMC proposal he would have had to dispose of 300,000 bbls – 125,000= 175,000 bbls x .15%=26,250 bbls disposed. Under the proposed USDA plan that same handler would have to dispose of 300,000 bbls x 15%=45,000 bbls. The difference is significant. If the proposed USDA plan is enacted it would take another 1,000,000 bbls off the market in addition to the 880,000 bbls that naturally came off the market.

Besides the 125,000 exemption, the other significant change made by the USDA was the addition of “Any handler who does not have carryover inventory at the end of the 2017-2018 year would also be exempt” and ” Further, only handlers who would have carryover inventory that is not sold or under contract and the end of the 2017-2018 fiscal year would be subject to the 15 percent restriction” to the order. There was much discussion on these provisions imploring the USDA to provide guidance on what is define what is “sold” and “under contract”. The industry needs a certain amount of “pipeline” that is in our projections to get the processors from one crop to the availability of the new crop, which allows the processing plants to run efficiently and continually. Do we have more than the necessary amount of carryover as an industry. Absolutely, hence the request for a marketing order. But to make handlers prove their sales or contracts to prove they are in balance without carryover seems like an exercise fraught with problems. The addition of this wordage was probably intended to have the handlers with the most inventory subject to the order, and has numerous problems in application.

In the end, the CMC could only review the Proposed Order and make recommendations. In consideration of the large amount of decrease in fruit provided due to growing conditions, the CMC recommended to the USDA that the Volume reduction be reduced from 15% to 5%. This amount is estimated to take another 320,000 bbls out of the supply.

The USDA representatives were engaged and listened intently to all of the presenters and commentary. It was by no means a negotiation or give and take. They suggested that everyone make these same comments to the Federal Register. The comment period is open until February 2, 2018

date:  Jan 24, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Cranberry Crop update
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Chilean Prune Update

The estimated carry over from last year’s crop will be app. 5.000 tons , especially for small industrial sizes.

–              Estimated sizes of the new crop:

For new crop we expect the principal volume in sizes 50-60  60/70  70/80.  Quantity of 40/50 and 30/40 very small.

–              Crop to date export (and vs last year)

The expectation is that the first lots for 2018 crop will be available for shipment during end of March/early April 2018

–              Domestic demand vs last year

Domestic demand will be higher than in 2017, but this will be not more than 5-6 % of the total demand.

Please find below a table from the INC magazine:

date:  Jan 18, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Chilean Prune Update
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

It’s a good time to buy Sunflower!


Market – East Europe

The demand for export and the domestic use is slow in Bulgaria the last few weeks. Processors are fulfilling their older contracts but it’s hard to get new sales in the books.

Prices are at low levels and because the quantities availible are good, we don’t expect any big changes during the next weeks.

New processers and local traders offing without profits in order to get new customers bring big compertition. Raw sunflower seeds were traded last week at USD 330-340/mt. We see current market levels for hulled processed kernels today at EUR 580-600 ex works. Broken kernels are traded at EUR 490-510 ex works.

date:  Jan 17, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on It’s a good time to buy Sunflower!
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Pumpkin Market outlook for 2018


Market – China

December was not an active month for the Chinese pumpkin exporters. Most of the European buyers had covered their needs for 2017. The domestic Chinese market stays high. By the middle of January we see a growing interest again for spot material.

The combination of the favorable price tags of the material and the interests from the market to cover longer spreads puts some pressure (risks) on the table of the pumpkin exporters in China. Right now the availability is good and it’s easy for the processor to buy from a local raw material trader.

In the current market situation, there is no need for the processors to keep stocks. This seems stable and positive but is also a risk for the processors and the possibilities for price changes for the buyers in Europe.

Two areas in the market to note are:

1 ) Quality and availability driven increase. Right now we see the market increase on the higher quality kernels. For example the prices of the Shine Skin AA from the North West (Xibei Origin) are rising. The availability is not so big and the domestic use is high. Some big processors have slowly started taking some positions of the raw material from the North West which makes other (smaller) processors consider the same. For these specific quality kernels, we expect the market will not make a huge jump, but we expect it will keep increasing during the next months. How fast it will increase is important of topic no 2 like explained here below.

2) Speculation driven increase. These days the pumpkin market is more speculation driven as the available volumes are simple high (expect some high quality kernels like AAA grades and Xibei Origin Shine Skin like mentioned before). There is a huge immediate available volume North east origin Shine Skin and the stocks of GWS are also still good.

Right now processors are not eager to offer long period contracts (financial capacity wise) or they ask for a premium price to ensure their margins. If they don’t do this, it might be a gamble to see if they can make some profit.

Price reference

As mentioned before we still see a big difference between the origin prices and the local spot prices in Europe. Spot availability is high these days, due to the rising interest at the start of 2018. Right now we see the following market levels FOB China. GWS grade A USD 2.600-2.650 FOB and GWS grade AA at USD 2.900-2.950 FOB. Shine Skin A at USD 2.200-2.250 and Shine Skin AA at USD 2.900-2.950.

Advice and expectations.

Right now, the pumpkin market is at a stable low level, which gives the opportunity to buy good quality seeds at attractive prices. Especially the prices for nearby shipment are attractive. If you would like to take advantage of this favorable market, we advise to consider covering your needs until the summer period.

Please be aware that suddenly powerful processors can start collecting quantities of raw material for storage if they see growing interest for the next coming months. This can break open the market and makes the prices increase fast in a short time.

date:  Jan 17, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Pumpkin Market outlook for 2018
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

South African Vine Fruit; Thompson’s & Currants

The crop in Vredendal will be severely affected by drought as some producers are running out of water before harvest time.

This is really unfortunate as the crop would have been better than last year if water supply was not a limiting factor.

The currants crop may be down by 25-40% vs last year and the Thompsons in that region down by  20-30% vs last year.

Producers are starting to harvest and they are using the last available water to irrigate the vineyards producing the highest yields.

Final crop numbers will be available within the next 6 weeks.

date:  Jan 17, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on South African Vine Fruit; Thompson’s & Currants
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Walnut crop December 2017 shipment report & market update

The December 2017 shipments versus the December 2016 shipments on an in-shell equivalent were very similar.  67, 363 In-shell tons versus 67, 701 last year.  

The current receipts for the Walnut crop are at 614,979 tons.   The crop will be slightly higher than what the market had been expecting and lower than the Crop Estimate of 650,000 tons, and  significantly less than last year’s 680,000 tons.

Many markets are receiving both their in-shell and kernel loads shipped out in October/November.  The quality of the crop continues to impress with great colour and High Yields.  The quality has taken some people by surprise due to all of the high heat days we had this summer.  Many industry experts state this is the best quality California has had in many years.

Turkey has been active the past few weeks since the import taxes were reduced from over 40% to 15%.  All major Turkish buyers have been active with hundreds of loads being purchased in the past few weeks.

The Chinese crop is selling at cheaper prices than the California crop at this time resulting in some market rot claims in the market. We will have to watch whether China will come back in to buy for this year’s Walnut crop.

The jury is out on India right now coming back in to buy in any real volume.  Time will tell , but there is some industry experts that believe India will not come back to buy in any significant volume for the rest of the Walnut Crop Year and they will switch to purchase Chilean walnuts in the next two months.

There are numerous economic challenges and market dynamics impacting various markets during the beginning of 2018. We will continue to keep up updated on any market changes.

date:  Jan 17, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Walnut crop December 2017 shipment report & market update
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Pecan Market Update – January 2018

The North American Pecan supply is currently projected as follows:

Projected US crop: 280 million lbs (in shell)

Projected Mexican crop imports: 90 milion lbs (in shell)

Projected 2016 / 2017 crop carry in: 129 million lbs (in shell)

The crop quality appears to be predominately good despite earlier concerns with weather issues and storm damage. A smaller crop helped overcome adverse weather and storm conditions. Certain growing regions have experienced some quality issues, Central Texas, Southern Georgia, parts of Northern Mexico, generally however these are an exception to the Western growing regions which are reporting high volume of excellent quality, this is mostly New Mexico area.

Exported in-shell volumes have remained stable for the 2017 season, despite some sluggish retail sales in Asia. There remains limited export quality sized pecans left in the US, likely to be purchased come the Chinese new year.

Pecans prices have generally lowered due to decreased costs and slower consumption, however, market sentiment appears to suggest we have reached the lower levels and that prices now will look to strengthen as the season progresses. Price are expected to trade lower than the highs of 2017.

date:  Jan 16, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Pecan Market Update – January 2018
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

December 2017 Almond Position Report Summary

The Almond Board of California has released the December shipment report with shipments of + 204.5 million pounds compared to last year at  156.2 million pounds for an increase of  +30.9 percent.  The industry had been expecting a record shipment number for December.

  • Domestic     + 7.7%
  • Exports         +41.6%

YEAR TO DATE SHIPMENTS:  + 1.038 billion pounds compared to  950.8 million pounds last year for an increase of +9.23  percent

The crop receipts are now at +2.207  billion pounds.  It appears the crop will reach 2.25- 2.30 billion pounds this year.

All markets were active in buying and taking shipments.  Prices on many key items firmed up by 5 cents per lbs.  New sales during December were at  +165.9 million pounds.  The Industry is now sold at  64.8% percent for total supply and 76.7% percent on the new crop.

The shipments for January look to be a new record as well.  Many expect shipments up another 20-25% over last year.  Cheap prices are definitely increasing consumption!   January is full for all packers.  Many packers are now full for their February production schedules as well.

California received some welcomed rain storms the past 7 days!  In Sacramento there are now 7.13 inches compared to a normal year of 8.11 inches, so 88% of normal for rains.

date:  Jan 12, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on December 2017 Almond Position Report Summary
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Sultanas & Raisins Market Report

The end of 2017 saw a very stable market in Turkey for Sultanas and a slowly but surely increasing market for Raisins. Pricing at the end of the December for STD 9 Sultanas was around the $1400 to $1475 per metric ton FOB Izmir with Thompson Select Raisins trading at anywhere from $2100 up to $2400 pmt FOB Izmir.

Since the start of 2018 prices have increased significantly upon high demand from the European markets and increased competition amongst packers to buy material locally to meet contracts already in place, Sultanas are now trading at $1650 to $1750 and Thompson Raisins at $2600 to $2800 FOB Izmir. The demand coming from European countries has been to see companies through until new crop in August/September and this increased demand has meant that packers are increasing their buying which has of course led to farmers pushing prices up locally. Thompson Raisin demand has also increased as buyers look for cheaper alternatives compared to Californian Raisins ($3150 – $3350 pmt C&F Felixstowe) where pricing continues to run away due to a decreased and damaged 2017 crop. Offers from California are now few and far between but those holding out for relief from Chilean or South Africa will be disappointed as both origins have increased their cost citing poor crops and increased demand due to California’s struggles. Chilean & South African new crop won’t hit the UK market until some point during April at it’s earliest.

With prices in Turkey increasing day by day and seemingly unlikely to stop any time soon, our advice to customers is to only buy on a hand to mouth basis in the coming months. The next key period to determine where pricing will go over Q2 to Q4 will be March & April as the risk of frost during this period can either damage the vines or it doesn’t and we get another good crop come August, either pushing prices up even further or reigning them back as farmers look to clear inventory before new crop.

date:  Jan 09, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Sultanas & Raisins Market Report
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Chinese Pumpkin & Sunflower

We would like to share the market report as follow:

Chinese pumpkin shineskin, remains predominately at a similar and stable level.

Chinese new year will coming soon, and roasters still mostly demand GWS, the price of shineskin may come down slightly, but because shine skin price is competitive, and GWS price follows, generally it’s still higher than Shineskin.

At the same level grade sunflower kernels, price has increase slightly, because of reduce the planting area, and export lack remains, some price has adjusted upwards, because the rate of RMB and USD, RMB has devalued somewhat at the moment, from 6.65 it has come down to 6.46.

Market offers can be seen in the region of:

CFR EMP $ per mt

GWS A       2385-2425

GWS AA     2685-2725

shine skin A  (30-35% green kernels) 2180-2225

shine skin AA  2780-2825


date:  Jan 05, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Chinese Pumpkin & Sunflower
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More