Author Archives Sian Koster

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

Walnut Market Update

News is in that the walnut crop is progressing nicely. It is predicted by most industry experts that the crop will be between 680,000-710,000 tons. The California Walnut Handlers held a meeting where discussions and estimates were submitted with regards to their on crop, when collated together it was an estimated of  691,000 tons of new crop. Last year’s crop was 672,000 tons so the 2019 crop is expected to be slightly larger in quantity. However, this is just an estimate, please note the official estimate performed by NASS will be made at the end of August.

The Chandler crop looks to be mostly strong, although there is some inconsistency from region to region. Howards look good in some orchards and well below last year in others. Tulare should be down after a very strong season last year.

Potential harvest has been affected by the cool weather in the spring, delaying the process. the weather has been mild for most of the summer until recently when the temperature reached 105 degrees Fahrenheit, this excessive heat can affect the quality of the crop.

Prices on inshell have increased around 10 cents per pound due to strong demand for first shipments from Turkey and Middle East.  Most sellers have been patient this summer waiting to see how the trees would develop before beginning to market their crop.

date:  Jul 31, 2019 comments:  Comments Off on Walnut Market Update
by:  Sian Koster category:  Latest News Read More

Pumpkin Seed Market Update

Pumpkin Seed

The total planted area of Shine Skin Pumpkin Seeds has been recorded as reduced by 20-30% in 2019.

However, due to good weather conditions in North East China there is a chance that the new crop production could be of similar quantities as the 2018 crop. Although this good news, the 2018 crop is almost finished, whereas this time in 2017 there was still a lot of crop left.

The China and US trade war has made the Chinese pumpkin seed business into the USA harder. The USA and Australia are still the main importer for Chinese pumpkin seeds, while now European market is quite slow.

Farmers have a higher expectation of this year’s crop, this has been supported through rumors that contractual price with farmers has been raised from 11RMB/kg to 13RMB/kg, which means about 300 USD higher compared with last years open price.

Facing this, it is expected that the open price for this years new crop pumpkin seed kernels should be around 3000-3300usd/mt FOB Dalian Port. Please note this is not for certain, indication only.

 

GWS pumpkin seed kernels

The planted area of GWS Pumpkin seeds has been heavily reduced in Asia, now in West Inner Mogolia, most of the lands are used for sunflower seeds and hempseeds, while in Xinjiang the lands are used for watermelon seeds and also sunflower seeds. It has been rumoured that farmers have lost interest in GWS Pumpkin seed due to the low price, and slow market in 2018. Now there is a lot of 2018 GWS material left in the market.

date:  Jul 30, 2019 comments:  Comments Off on Pumpkin Seed Market Update
by:  Sian Koster category:  Latest News Read More

New Crop Fig Update

The harvest of Figs is estimated to not start for another 3 weeks and a second harvest will take place in the second half of August for the lowland orchards, and early September for mountain figs.

It has been said that the number of figs per branch seems higher than last year, typically there should be 4-5 figs per branch but now there are 6-7 in average.

Last year was no exception, but the rains and humid weather in August destroyed 30-40% of the crop. Due to this, prices were expected to be lower.

There are many reasons that the prices will be higher in early shipments;

  • No carry over of 2019 crop
  • Big demand of local market in August – September (because of ashura, a traditional Turkish dessert)
  • Big demand of foreign markets (almost zero stock in the clients)
  • 20% weaker Euro currency comparing to September 2019
  • 25% increase in workers’ salary and other cost items

Furthermore, there are concerns emerging over the past few days that pollination was not good, and due to this many of the fruits appear to not be developing, if this is correct the crop quantity will less than expected.

It’s true that caprification was not good in some areas, but the remaining quantity on the trees is still more than enough.

As always, the final tonnage and quality of the crop will be heavily influenced by the weather in August and September.

 

date:  Jul 29, 2019 comments:  Comments Off on New Crop Fig Update
by:  Sian Koster category:  Latest News Read More

Dried Apricot New Crop Market Update

News is in across this week that dried Apricot new crop is of a good quantity. The new crop has been recorded as a minimum of 3 weeks delay due to the cool weather during the ripening and drying period.

There are big disputes with regards to the crop size and quality. Most farmers are reporting that their dried yield is much more smaller that it was anticipated. Most of the farming complaints are discussion of the below.

Plenty of fruit on trees however, after harvesting they have witnessed that actually fresh fruit amount was less than it seems to be . This complaint seems to be relevant in the orchards that produce mostly medium and small size apricots.

Despite the above discussions, it is predicted that there will not be any major weight losses in theses specific orchards growing mainly #5, 4# 7# and 8#. The general consensus amongst farmers is a weight loss of 5% with generally good quality.

On following this, Some growers are debating that although they had normal amount of fruit on their trees and the size of the fruit seemed to be quite big , the actual outcome after drying much smaller that it was expected. This was made evident in the weighing process, usually they obtain 1kg of dried fruit after drying 4kg of fresh fruit, however, this season 6-7 kg of fresh fruit was needed to obtain 1kg of dried fruit. This complaint was common amongst larger fruit growing orchards.

These are considerable weight losses. These orchards fruit mostly produced sizes # 2 or # 3 instead of Jumbo or # 1. It is widely agreed  that weight loss in these orchards is up-to  15-20%. Ripening of larger sized apricots takes a considerably longer time than other sizes. İt is believed that this year that these fruits were harvested earlier than they should have been.

For this reason dry material amount (sugar content) was less than usual and during drying weight loss was more than usual.

Considering the above, this season sugar content of the Dried Apricots is lower than usual. And sugar is the main preservative. This may contribute towards serious fermentation problems, especially low SO2.  It is advised that clients must choose suppliers who provide quality drying facilities to avoid any fermentation problems .

Current information suggests that 2019 Crop is mostly Size # 4 , # 3 and # 2 and supply of Industrial quality is very limited .

To conclude on all of the above circumstances;

it is predicted that there will be 10-15% less quantity than estimated

Prices of industrial quality, diced , small sizes ( Size # 6 included ) will be higher.

It will be very hard to obtain Jumbo size and S# 1.

The Price gap between sizes will be smaller

It is expected that there will not be a rush from the supply side and demand will always be higher than so we estimate  that prices will be in a  ascending trend during the whole season.

date:  Jul 23, 2019 comments:  Comments Off on Dried Apricot New Crop Market Update
by:  Sian Koster category:  Latest News Read More

Pecan Market Update

Current Market Conditions

Shipments have continued at a steady rate though Q3. It is apparent that many Buyers are favoring purchasing on a spot basis rather than contracting across the remainder of the year. Prices have steadied or strengthened depending on the size of the kernel with halves displaying limited availability in the majority of improved sizes. Pecan prices remain scattered for the current crop with decent positions for most sizes.

Tree nut crop projections

The past month has been many early predictions for the almond, walnut, and pecan crops. All three are estimated to decrease or produce a similar size crop when compared to the last season.

The first two estimates for the pecan crop (the tri-state and Texas growers association) have estimates for the US crop produce to 120,655 tons (266 million lbs.) and 116,677 tons (257 million lbs) respectively. If correct, the Us crop will be of similar size to the previous seasons.

Another historically short crop has been predicted to occur, reasons for this include: decreasing production in the native crop, destroyed south-eastern acreage from the 2018 hurricanes, and decreased production out of the state of Texas. The westerns US growing regions continue to produce at a steady rate, but this increase is overshadowed by decreased production in the east.

Market Forecast

This season projections remain similar; improvements on pecan halves will persist to strengthen and pecan pieces will likely remain in an open position. However, there it is a likelihood that the pecan piece position will decrease and prices could strengthen in light of another possible short crop. Q4 could see a slight increase in all pecan prices.

date:  Jul 23, 2019 comments:  Comments Off on Pecan Market Update
by:  Sian Koster category:  Latest News Read More

GWS Pumpkin Seed Market Update

Grown Without Shell Pumpkin Seeds Update

2018 Crop 

  • 2018 Crop was estimated at 10,000-12,000 mt.
  • Carry out from 2017 was 6,000-8,000 mt, and total supply was 16,000-20,000 mt.
  • Grown Without Shell Pumpkin seed is 100% used in EU and other export markets, this high demand has prompted the price increase.

2019 Crop 

  • This years (2019) crop estimated 4,000-6,000 mt.
  • Due to low level sales, the average cost is estimated to be reduced significantly (Rumors of 40% less).
  • Carry out for new crop will be 5,000-6,000 mt. An estimated total supply will be 9,000-12,000 mt. However, this is thought to be enough quantity for the market required.
  • Grown Without Shell pricing is thought to be stable across the year.
date:  Jul 19, 2019 comments:  Comments Off on GWS Pumpkin Seed Market Update
by:  Sian Koster category:  Latest News Read More

The Almond Board Of California June Position Report

DEMAND: 

U.S. (up 0.5% YTD) was down 8.2%

Exports (down 0.1% YTD) were up 5.4%

Western Europe +6.5% (-3% YTD) This region continued to play catch up and were active buyers in recent months.

China/HK/Vietnam +112% (-18% YTD) May shipments from Australia were 11.7 million lbs. vs. 0.6 a year ago.  It still appears imports are just shifting and consumption is stable.  We hear inventory is very low on the mainland.

India +50% (+14% YTD) Current crop is required to cover their early Diwali needs, especially with the late harvest.  This market is very uncovered for new crop.  China appears well ahead of them on in-shell purchases.

Middle East / Africa -35% (+7% YTD) Took a breather and worked through inventory.  They are gradually coming back into buy additional volume.

2019 CROP:    

CROP ESTIMATE

The 2019 Objective Crop Estimate is at 2.20 billion pounds still has people in shock, a substantial reduction of 12 percent from the May Subject Estimate and a 3.5% decrease from last year’s crop.  The industry experts were Not predicting such a reduction in the crop estimate and all prices have increased significantly.  We have seen Stds current crop go from 2.85 FAS up to 3.15 FAS and new crop October from $2.55 per lbs. FAS up to $3.05 per lbs. FAS.  Nonpareil Inshell new crop went from $2.10 FAS September up to 2.30 FAS.  Nonpareil Extra #1 23/25 AOL September went from $3.00 FAS to $3.40 per lbs. FAS.

The weather remains favourable for 2019 crop development. Harvest timing still looks late as Nonpareil are just beginning hull split.

With a trend toward tighter plantings and smaller trees, the nut set per tree has been in a long-term decline, but much of the cause of low sets in recent years was due to poor weather as well (drought, frost, etc.). This further decline of 18%, down to 4,667 nuts per tree, was a big surprise.  While the average kernel size is the same for all varieties combined, Nonpareil are expected to be the smallest since 2015.

All prices have risen significantly in light of the smaller than expected crop estimate.  Many key growers are stating their orchards due look lighter than initially expected.  The outside rows of the orchards look good to the eye, however, when you walk into the orchard, they feel the crop is much lighter inside and not as heavy as the outsides of the orchards.  The new crop harvest is expected to be 5-7 days later than normal up and down the valley, thus making a significant premium on early new crop shipments.

 

REVIEW:

  • Shipments were right in-line with industry expectations. Shipments were 165.2 million lbs. vs. 156.8 million lbs. in 2018 – an increase of 5.4%
  • June sales of 86 million lbs. are down from 104 last June, as prices increased and not much product remains.
  • Committed/Unshipped are 283 million lbs. vs. 239 a year ago, up 18%
  • Committed/Shipped reached 2.93 Billion lbs., approximately 93% of total supply compared with 90% a year ago.
  • Uncommitted inventory is 189 million lbs. vs. 265 million lbs., down 29%.
  • New (2019) crop sales are 231 million lbs. vs. 156 million lbs. at the same time a year ago, up 48%
  • Carry Out for July 31:  Based on the strong commitments, we expect around 310 million lbs.
  • Current crop inventory is almost gone.  If buyers have needs for July/August, it’s recommended to cover as soon as possible.
  • 2019 Crop Supply Scenarios: A 2.20 billion lb. gross crop (like the objective estimates) with 310 carry-in would result in a decrease in total supply of 116 million lbs.  This would require a significant decline in shipments that we have rarely seen, just in very high priced seasons like 2005 and 2014.  A crop of 2.5 billion lbs. (like the subjective) would result in an increase in supply of 178 million lbs., allowing for consumption growth and potentially a smoother carryout.  The latest consensus seems to expect a crop in between these figures (2.2 to 2.5) and thus many think we are priced accordingly.  Crop receipts will be watched carefully to guide price direction, however, we likely will not have a good idea until 4 to 6 months from now.  We anticipate crop receipts highly varied by region, variety, etc. so we expect to hear all kinds of yield reports as harvest gets underway.
date:  Jul 15, 2019 comments:  Comments Off on The Almond Board Of California June Position Report
by:  Sian Koster category:  Latest News Read More

Walnut Market and Crop Update – June 2019

Market 

Markets have been relatively quiet since Chile has started to ship in the Spring.  Chile is relatively sold out, much more sold then this time last year.

In California most inventory is also sold out as well.  The market overall seems pretty tight on inventory except for a few items, but the Californian Walnut Board expect most, if not all, inventory to be cleaned up in advance of new crop . Recently traded prices are as follows: Combo HP $2.40, LMP at $2.55, LLP at $2.45, LHP 20 at $2.65-2.70, Chandler LHP 20 at $2.75-2.80, Chandler Halves at $3.15-3.20, FAS CA basis. Most buyers are now focused on new crop offers from California.

The June 2019 shipments versus the June 2018 shipments on an inshell equivalent were up 3.9% with +31,599 tons in 2019 versus 30,379 tons in 2018;

  • Domestic – June 2019 shipments versus 2018 shipments on an inshell equivalent were up +3%
  • Export – June 2019 shipments versus 2018 shipments on an inshell equivalent were up +5%

The Key Market Shipments:  June 2019 versus June 2018;

  • Kernels Europe:86 million pounds vs 4.2 million for an increase of 15.89%
  • Inshell Middle East: 533,000 lbs versus 1.35 million for an decrease of 60.55%
  • Inshell Turkey: 448,452 lbs versus 264,552 for an increase of +69.5%%
  • Shelled Germany: 546,800 vs 1.09 Million for a decrease of (-49.86% )

New Crop

Early reports from California Industry Experts, is that Chandler crop looks relatively good. Tulare coming off a huge crop last year is expected to be down this season. Howards look very inconsistent, some saying same as last year while others say they will be down. Early varieties look to be down this year with many of the older varieties/older orchards being pulled out this year.  Most expect a crop size similar to last year at 680,000 tons with some even stating it could be as high as 710,000 tons.  The estimate will be released in late August.  It does feel that there has been much less business booked early this summer compared to last year, sellers and buyer seem content on waiting…with sales picking up this week.

Pricing

New crop pricing can be described as unorganized. Sellers want as high as 1.20 FAS for Jumbo Large Chandler while buyers want the profitable levels, they briefly had last year at 1.00 FAS. Recent business has been reported at 1.12-1.15 FAS for Chandler and Tulare at 1.09 FAS and Howard at 1.08 FAS. Bids at these levels have had mixed success, bids lowers have had zero success.  While buyers may initially resist Chandler at 1.15 FAS or higher, it may be worth considering that 2 years ago these levels were considered cheap and are lower than the prices which Chile sold most their crop this year.

date:  Jul 12, 2019 comments:  Comments Off on Walnut Market and Crop Update – June 2019
by:  Sian Koster category:  Latest News Read More

SAYER DATES CROP 2019 REPORT

Reports from the plamyards across all southern provinces show indications that the upcoming crop of 2019 will not reflect the same as the previous year’s crop, which was a high yield crop year for Sayer Dates growers. These affects have been down to the heavy rainfalls during the insemination period of the Palm trees, meaning some female trees were unable to fertilize properly.

This phenomenon has affected two major Date growing areas and has caused crop reduction in ‘Shadegan’ and ‘Abadan’ regions by 50% to 70%. Despite this, other regions were not affected and were able to produce good standard crop for harvest in September.

Recent developments in crop and reports also show that the Palm trees have lost smaller fruits in the past two months meaning only the larger fruits remain on the palms. On following this, the new crop will provide a larger proportion of Select B & A Dates vs GAQ & FAQ sized Dates.

Given the facts above, an expected 30% reduction on the total crop yield in comparison to last year’s crop. Please see the below chart which provides details of the expected size for the new crop & the proportion of each grade:

Expected New Crop Size

Iran’s economic situation has been stabilized in comparison to the last year and the US$ exchange rate has been stable for the past 10 months as result. The government has been able to provide a better platform for the exchange demands and have recovered the shortcoming of the oil income by replacing oil with other exporting commodities.It is also predictable that government’s minimum guaranteed purchasing price from the farmers will grow to higher than last year, however the exchange rates will keep the prices in competitive levels.

We are witnessing a trend that each year a larger portion of the Dates buyers are converting to purchase high quality Dates by products, specially Date paste. This fact is reducing demand for the whole pitted Dates in general and a better acceptance for the new product which is replacing the whole Dates. This trend is visible in North America, Europe, Japan, New Zealand and Australia (mainly quality oriented Markets looking for natural sweeteners and sugar alternatives).

date:  Jul 10, 2019 comments:  Comments Off on SAYER DATES CROP 2019 REPORT
by:  Sian Koster category:  Latest News Read More