Author Archives Chris Wilding

Market Update on Banana Chips from the Philippines

Green banana deliveries has been less than half of the volume some packers have expected, the availability of bananas, have again, started to become short. The reasons behind the shortage is because of heavy rainfall in the farm areas and many farmers have held out harvesting their bananas to prevent prices from falling further. Green banana prices may have already found the bottom levels. 

We can empathise with the farmers since they live mostly hand to mouth on a daily basis to feed their families. It is good business practice that there should be a reason and / or motivation  for the farmers to go on with their banana cultivation, and not to cut down their planted bananas in favour of other fruits or crops due to falling banana prices.

Volatilities can spark  “any day between now to August / September time”  which is a nearby now.

Please note that those (Sept up to early 2019)  are usually China peak season months leading to Chinese New Year (early 2019)  wherein China purchases in full force. This  is the traditional yearly peak season sales.

Additionally,  the typhoon season months for the Philippines are July to September.  These are big risks for volatility since one typhoon can game change the farm situation,  as we have seen before in banana chip prices. It can be an impetus for the fresh fruit traders from Luzon to come back aggressively to buy bananas in the farms if their own crops in Luzon are devastated again by typhoons.

It would be a good time for you to lock in now,  for August / September orders,  while prices remain competative.

date:  Jul 09, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Market Update on Banana Chips from the Philippines
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

2018 Californian Almond Objective Estimate

The 2018 californian almond objective estimate of 2.45 billion lbs is an increase on this years earlier subjective report in May, with a +6.5% boost, its also a 7.9% step-up on 2017 crop.

Production from non pareil variety is forcaste at 910 million lbs, the lowest since 2005 down 0.8% and 21% below the 20 year average. the Nonpareil variety represents 37% of Californias total almond production. This all demonstrates the inpact of February’s frosty weather on what could have been a larger crop.

2.45 is good news and will allow the industry to continue  growing demand for Almonds, although many traders in Europe have been working on these estimations for some time.


date:  Jul 06, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on 2018 Californian Almond Objective Estimate
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Turkish Hazelnut Market update

The market generally remains unchanged in Turkey, however after the recent elections and and reelection of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan  the Lira recovered about 3%, which was less than the expectation. Prices in €/$ increased accordingly.

Weather conditions have been near perfect up until now and the crop is developing extremely well.

Exporters Union specialists are in the fields for the crop estimate which should be known within the next fortnight.

It’s already it’s reported that there are no special risks of cimiciato (hazelnut bug damage) nor mildew. The nuts seem to be of a larger size (less premium for 13/15 but less discount for small nuts can be expected).

We can be assured there will be plenty of availability of hazelnuts for the new crop.

The market drivers will be exchange rates, on one side the Lira, can it recover now the financial markets have less reason to fear political uncertainty and on the other side the politics of TMO; this will depend on the market price and social atmosphere at the time growers begin to market there new crop material; end August/September.

date:  Jul 04, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Turkish Hazelnut Market update
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Snapshot update on Seeds

Pumpkin – Forecast to have significantly lower planting figures this crop due to low prices and weak market. Farmers likely to move into better cash crops such as Soya and Corn, particularly as they think the trade war with the US could see bean and corn prices rise.

Millet – Too early to tell what the plantings are going to be. A better picture will  emerge in a couple of weeks.

Sunflower  – Less acreage being planted, buoyant oilseed market, poor crop in Argentina, very dry conditions in Eastern Europe and the strong Dollar v Euros is all combining to put a bullish twist

Poppy – Lack of rain plus a bout of root weevil which attacks young plants early has pushed the market up €50/pmt since last week

Linseeds – YOY plantings will be very similar, although there will be no carry-over we expect the market to be similar.

Sesame – The market in India is very strong at the moment due to lack of raw material, and a large demand from both Korea and China.

date:  Jul 03, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Snapshot update on Seeds
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Pecan Nuts Market report

The Pecan crop estimate for the 2018 / 2019 season was released at the Tri-state growers conference last week at 300 million lbs which would mean a fairly sizeable crop in the US.

It is also expected that the Mexican crop will be large too. Whilst there is no official number, it is widely expected to be over 250 million lbs. Despite the promisingg numbers, it is important to note that it remains very early in the growing season. These numbers should give us a fair indication, taking into account the additional acreage, that has been planted over the last 10 years.

Most shippers are almost sold out and have very limited volume left to offer. Small volumes may be found however it is recommended that any short positions are covered as soon as possible to guarantee supply. Due to the South African crop size and availability, we have seen a very slight softening of prices within June.

With 3 months remaining before the beginning of the new crop North American harvest, there are numerous scenarios that can play out during this period, however if all goes well we can expect the new crop pricing level to be below the levels we have seen for this season.

date:  Jun 29, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Pecan Nuts Market report
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

May 2018 Almond Position Report

The Almond Board of California has released the MAY ALMOND POSITION REPORT with shipments of  +158 million pounds compared to 170 million pounds last year for a decrease of 7.3 percent.

  • DOMESTIC          +66 million lbs   +13.1%
  • EXPORT               +92 million lbs   -17.9%

Shipments for the month of May were down approximately 7.3 percent versus last May, and year-to-date shipments were up double digits 10.24 percent.  Uncommitted inventory is about 19 million pounds or 5.4 percent more over last year. Some major export markets such as Germany, Spain, Netherlands, UK, UAE, Turkey, and China saw decreases in May shipments from 2017 to 2018.  New sales for the month of May reflected the market’s activity in general with new sales of only 76 million pounds.  This is a decrease of 47.38 percent versus last year.  New crop sales saw a decrease as well with sales totaling just over 80 million pounds versus 209 million pounds last year.

New sales in May were only 76.1 million pounds compared to last year at 144 million pounds.  The recent increase in Trade/Tariff wars with the USA have made many buyers around the world cautious on making new contracts for current and new crop.

YEAR TO DATE SHIPMENTS:  Are now at +1.950 billion pounds compared to 1.769 billion pounds for an increase of +10.24 percent.

CROP RECEIPTS:  The 2017 crop receipts are at +2.257 billion pounds compared to 2.134 billion pounds in 2016, and increase of +5.79% over last year.

OBJECTIVE CROP ESTIMATE: Will be announced in early July.  The Subjective Crop estimate is now at 2.3 billion pounds. Many growers/packers expect the Objective to be between 2.3 to 2.4 billion pounds.  Monterey and Independence Varieties look outstanding with a big crop of them coming.  The Nonpareil crop is averaging quantity looking on the trees.

NEW CROP SALES: Over 80 million pounds of new crop almond shave been sold by May 31 accounting for approximately 3.5% of the new crop has now been sold.

JUNE SHIPMENTS: We expect June shipments to be down approximately 5-10% as many packers are running low on many key items limiting what they may sell for current crop.

Market at a glance: Hesitance and unknowns filled the market the past 30 days resulting in subdued activity.  Prices on current crop, maintained levels above $3.00 per pound for sized California and Carmel Types while Nonpareil varied between sellers ranging between $3.35-$3.50 per pound.  Most recently new crop started to take shape with some consistent pricing, but buyers hesitated in large part to confirm new crop business due to pricing versus last year and the unknown political situations throughout the world and how that could impact their local trade.

This month’s shipment report is reflective of the market unknowns and lack of confidence for what the future holds in world trade. The fundamentals of the 2017 crop aren’t daunting by any means.  The projected carryout could be somewhere close to last year’s carry out figure, which as a percentage is a smaller percentage of total supply, and the total percent sold is right in line with last year (87% vs. 86%) at this time.  The sentiment of the market however is what might have more of an impact on how the market moves forward versus fundamentals of the market.  Cautious buyers will be even more cautious on purchasing opportunities as they arise, and buyers could wait until they sense the market has reached a fair equilibrium point with supply and demand before doing the next round of purchases.

Notable upcoming reports:            July 5th Objective Estimate            July 12th June Position Report

date:  Jun 12, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on May 2018 Almond Position Report
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

May 2018 – Walnut crop report and update

The May 2018  shipments versus the May 2017  shipments on an inshell equivalent were up approximately 4% for May.    41,354 tons versus 39,504 last year.     

The FINAL receipts reported on Dec. 31st, 2017  for the Walnut crop are at 627,798 tons.

Pricing/Market:    The California Walnut packers are coming ending the season where they are completely finished or only have a few loads left to offer.

Demand has been slow for current crop currently, and new crop has started in many markets.

New Crop:    Industry experts believe that this year’s new crop may not be as large as once expected.  Some Industry Experts are now predicting the crop to be 660,000 to 700,000 lbs.  They believe this may be an “OFF” year for the trees and they are not producing as heavy as once thought.

Both the Tulare and The Serr crop look to be up over last year. Unfortunately the industry experts are not as optimistic on the Howard’s and the Chandlers, as Howards are down after two good crops and Chandlers look average at best.  The bloom on the Chandlers was completed in 3 weeks and the sizes look to be uniform across all 3 sizes ( 30% Jumbo, 30% Large, 40% Small and Babies ).

Right now it is very early and mindsets could change as we get closer to harvest.  We will definitely keep you updated.

India: Has increased custom duties on both walnuts from 30%  to 100% from all origins.

Turkey:  Unofficially, the duty for CA almonds and walnuts  has increased from 15% to 20%.  They have also removed some import licenses which has sent some local importers scrambling.

China:  China looks to have a big crop, so will also buy less in 2018.  They are predicting a crop of 750,000 to 800,00 tons.

Chile: Chile continues to have interest in moving both inshell and kernels since they are undersold from the previous years.  With a crop up over 30% from last year, the Chilean packers that are looking to move  +30 and +32MM Chandler Inshell.  The bigger sizes of Chandler, +34MM, and +36MM look to be well sold as there were less of them than last year.

date:  Jun 08, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on May 2018 – Walnut crop report and update
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Malatya Apricot Crop Survey 2018

Courtesy of our Apricots supplier partner – please see below crop survey:

We have spent the last few days touring the growing regions of Malatya, visiting many villages and surveying 120 orchards, many of which we survey every year. The following is our impression of the developing 2018 crop:


The bloom was 2 to 3 weeks early due to a record breaking mild winter. Due to warm weather during the early part of the bloom, bloom was short lived, and the fruit set was light in all areas. A frost at the tail end of the bloom damaged 15% of the orchards, those above 1400 m altitude. The farmers will start to harvest in the last week of June, the weather has been very unsettled this year so there is concern about rain during harvest.


Due to the light set the fruit size is large,we estimate that over 80% of the fruit will be size 1 through 4 with the remainder 20% size 5 through 8. Due to an unprecedented 22 rainy days during May, including 12 days of thunder and hail, the crop has a very high instance of speckles and hail damage. 88% of the orchards visited had hail and or speckling in excess of 20% of the fruit on the trees. Over all we estimate 40 to 50% of the crop is blemished.


We estimate the crop is of a similar size to last year, currently there are 110,000 to 120,000 tons dry equivalent on the trees. This tallies with the industry consensus and the official surveys. Harvested tonnage will depend on the amount of blemished fruit that the juice industry buys fresh, and the price of industrial grade apricots, if prices for the worst blemished orchards fall below the cost of harvest as they did last year then farmers will again leave the fruit in the orchards. Many farmers took insurance against hail damage, and are being compensated accordingly. We expect an excess of unsulphured fruit once again as farmers with speckled fruit will not sulphur the apricots in an attempt to camouflage the defects. The abandoned acreage continues to outpace the new plantings which are extremely rare, as a result the potential tonnage in future years is expected to continue to shrink.


The minority of growers who have unblemished fruit can expect to receive a good price at the opening as packers with high spec clients will have to compete hard for the clean fruit. Following last years experience when prices opened at the season low, then rapidly doubled, farmers are not going to drop prices at the opening this year. We expect prices to open at similar levels to the current crop closing prices, with smaller sized fruit moving higher to close the gap with larger fruit. There will be a shortage of size 5 and 6 which have become major sellers particularly for soft fruit. There will once again be a wide price difference between packers based on the quality they supply.

Current crop prices are now within 5% of last years average prices, and well below the 5 year average, as such it seems quite likely that the crop can be exported in its entirety at current price levels.

Speculative sellers having been burnt last year are notable by their absence, the majority of packers will start to offer towards the end of this month when the harvest starts and the price of fresh fruit has been established.

The Lira

The Lira exchange rate has stabilised following sharp falls in May due to economic and political uncertainty. The rate is expected to hold around current levels up to the election on 24th June, thereafter a win for the incumbent party is likely to see the Lira strengthen, perhaps significantly, however a non conclusive result may trigger further volatility.

2017 Crop

  • Exports in May were 5,941 tons, compared to 6,602 last year.
  • Year to date exports are 87,419 tons compared to 77,841 tons last year.
  • Average price for whole apricots in May was $3282 per ton, average price year to date is $2914.

Size 1 through 4 is now sold out. We expect to finish the year with total exports of 96,000 tons, domestic consumption of 7,000 tons and a carryover of not more than 10,000 tons most of which is blemished and undersized fruit, leading to a tight supply situation at the start of new crop.

date:  Jun 06, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Malatya Apricot Crop Survey 2018
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

California Walnut Acreage Report

California’s 2017 total walnut bearing acreage is estimated at 335,000 acres, up 6.3% from the 2016 figure of 315,000 acres. The 2017 total walnut acreage is estimated at 400,000 acres, up 10% from 2015. This includes 65,000 acreas of non-bearing acres. With the 2017 crop recipts estimated at 627,798 short tons, we have a total yield per acre of 1.87 short tons per acre. This is down 12.2% from the 2016 yield per acre of 2.13 tons per acre.

Chandler continues leading with 121,524 bearing acres representing 36% of the total bearing acreage. Chandler represents 59%, however, of the non-bearing acres. The pace of new plantings in 2017 slowed to 2,050 acres down 62% from the prior year when 5,461 acres were planted and off considerable from the recent peak planting year of 2013 when 11,398 acres were planted.

Approximately 7,000 acres were removed in 2017. Some acreas were harvested before the trees were removed. Most of the acreage is in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys in the northern parts of the state.

date:  May 24, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on California Walnut Acreage Report
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Update on Greek Currants

Following the record low 2017 Greek Currants crop, estimated at just 15,000mt, there will be no unsold carry over, by the time 2018 crop is harvested, during Late August/Early September. The fact that there will be no carry over will make packers more reluctant to offer new crop fruit before harvest, on the basis that they will not have the “Insurance” of any 2017 crop, should there be any issues with the development or drying of the 2018 crop. Packers reluctance to offer will be heightened by the fact that grower expectation will be for a continuation of the elevated price levels.

Early indicators suggest that the development of the 2018 Greek Crop is one to two weeks ahead of schedule, with harvest expected to commence during mid August.

Over the past five years, the average crop size has been in the region of 20,000mt. The record low crop of 2017, was triggered by a number of factors. For the years preceding the 2017, there had been huge dissatisfaction amongst growers, regarding the prices offered for their raw material, which they maintain was scarcely adequate to cover their costs. This has led to reduced acreage of vines, as growers opted to remove them and in most cases, to plant Olive trees in their place, maintenance of which involves a far lower labour cost. During the last two seasons, total crop sizes have also been affected by weather conditions during drying. Some growers opting to sell their product to the Greek wineries. The fact that the acreage is now reduced, is the most critical factor in determining the maximum realistic size of the 2018 crop. Due to the dramatic rise in raw material prices, following the short 2017 crop, it is very likely that the majority of growers will opt the sell their product dried as Currants, rather than as fresh product. However, in view of the reduced acreage, even with optimum weather conditions up to and including the critical drying period, it may be unrealistic to expect that the 2018 crop will reach more than 18,000mt.

It is highly unlikely that we will see any easing of prices during the rest of 2018, even if the crop is higher in volume than that of the 2017 crop, as there is certain to be significant interest in Currants for shipment immediately after the harvest. The situation has not been helped by the fact that the small South African crop of Currants, was 50% lower than usual, due to drought conditions, in the main growing region.

Whilst we do not yet have any confirmed new crop offers as discussed above, we estimate that the opening price level for 2108 crop Greek Currants will be in the region of  £2650 per mt, delivered, for Provincial and £2725 for Vostizza., with a premium for small berry sizes.  This assumes a £/€ rate of 1.14, a crop which totals 18,000mt and no issues with crop development or drying.

We anticipate strong early demand for Currants from the 2018 crop, which we believe will be sufficient to mean that the prices indicated above, are sustainable until at least Q1 2019. Beyond that, future direction will be determined by the exact quantity and quality of the crop and reaction of principal export markets, to the prevailing price levels. It is unlikely, but not impossible that a combination of a crop at the higher end of expectation, combined with reduced export demand, could trigger a fall in prices from Q2 2019.

We have written to the Greek Ministry of Agriculture, to encourage measures to be taken, in support of the Greek Currants industry, including incentives to encourage increased production, long term and proposing a meeting to discuss such measures. We await their reply.

date:  May 24, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Update on Greek Currants
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More