Author Archives Sian Koster

Pineapple Update January 2020

Now we are approaching the completion of the first month in 2020, it has become apparent that there is a limited supply of Pineapple, which is rather strange in comparison to the historical records. People are now even more pessimistic over this years total supply, it is expected to be less than 1 million tons (compared to Y2019 @ 1.05 million tons). This is mainly due to the shortage of rain in the last 3 months when it’s important for the Ratoon to get the water after flowering.

In addition to this, the irruption of a volcano in the southern part of the Philippines has caused yet more damage to pineapple plantations.

Considering all of the above, it is important to consider a significant reduction of global pineapple supply in 2020.

date:  Jan 24, 2020 comments:  Comments Off on Pineapple Update January 2020
by:  Sian Koster category:  Latest News Read More

South Africa Vine Fruit Report

The Vine Fruit crop in South Africa is progressing well in both Upington and Vredendal. It had been indicated that this year’s crop will be 5000 MT more than 2019 crop reaching 80000 MT. This is despite the frost damage that hit the upper river area of the Orange River near Groblershoop and resulted in a loss of 4,500 tonnes. Considering all of the above, the quality of the crop still appears to be very promising.

New varieties, like Selma Pete and Merbein, are producing above average yields, excellent quality and will be harvested earlier.

Commonly the drought in the Western Cape has significant effects on production volumes, particularly from 2018-2019. However, this year there has been enough rain therefore, the dam will have enough water to suffice. Vredendal is where 100% of currants are produced, and the decrease in drought has meant crop is back to normal levels (2020 estimate 8,000 tonnes).

Production in Vredendal

2017 = 7,273 MT (currants = 4,206 MT)
2018 = 4,763 MT (currants = 1,951 MT)
2019 = 4,132 MT (currants = 1,220 MT)
2020 = estimate 7,800 MT

Much like the above, goldens are indicating that all is on track and looking very promising.

Volumes of Goldens produced in SA: 

2018- 23,000 MT
2019- 11,000 MT
2020- estimate 20,000 – 25,000 MT

The Demand has had an influence on the increased volumes for Golden crop. This demand has come from the global price of Thompson Seedless Raisins (“TSR”) has decreased and that there is again a substantial financial incentive for the farmers to produce Golden’s.

Golden’s, are a much more costly product to produce because of the needed facilities, equipment and racks and the additional manual labor. So, the farmers who have the necessary equipment will again have an incentive to produce Golden’s.

date:  Jan 24, 2020 comments:  Comments Off on South Africa Vine Fruit Report
by:  Sian Koster category:  Latest News Read More

Turkish Vine Fruit Update

Turkish Vine Fruit Update

Everything in Turkey at the moment would suggest downward pressure is going to be applied to pricing of raw material in the coming months.

  • Exports are down 8% year on year for the crucial Christmas period of September to December, which is made even more astonishing when you consider almost all major European players had next to no stock at the end of August.
  • Export for December alone was down 45% Y-o-Y (2018 – 20,777 tonnes & 2019 – 11,354 tonnes).
  • Bourse Registrations are up 23% for September to December, which was to be expected somewhat with an increase of 17% on crop estimation Y-o-Y.
  • 60% of this years crop has been registered at the bourse, whilst only 34% has been exported thus far.


Crop Estimation 2018 1st Sept 2018 to 31st Dec 2018 Crop Estimation 2019 1st Sept 2019 to 31st Dec 2019 Differential Year on Year
261,000 tonnes Export Volume 113,566 tonnes 305,000 tonnes Export Volume 104,364 tonnes Export Volume 9,202 tonnes down
Bourse Registrations 148,798 tonnes Bourse Registrations 183,025 tonnes Bourse Registrations 34,227 tonnes up


  • If exports carry on at roughly 18,000 tonnes per month (the average for Jan to August over the last 2 years) then exports will total somewhere around the 240,000 to 250,000 tonnes for the 2019 crop at the end of August. This is on par with 2018 crop (252,450 tonnes exported) which as we know was smaller in estimation, meaning a significant carryover of stock into the 2020 crop (circa 25,000 to 30,000 tonnes assuming domestic usage is about 30,000 tonnes per year).
  • Taris and the TMO (Government body) have now stopped buying material on the Bouse at 10 TL/KG, as had been their strategy since September.

What all of this means is that with low export figures, high bourse registrations meaning plenty of stock in packers hands and a lack of buying by the TMO/Taris is that raw material prices are already beginning to show signs of weakness. Farmers are still asking for 10 TL/kg but given a lack of interest are accepting 9.5 to 9.6 TL/kg levels to move material on. The hardest thing to predict is where will this pricing level will go and then where it will settle. Traditionally we see prices fairly firm during the beginning of each year as the fear surrounding frost and storm damage during the crucial period of March & April causes caution in general.

Lira Weakness & Regional Instability

The Lira has already shown some weakness against the US Dollar in 2020 going from 5.952 to 5.977. There is a fear in Turkey that this could easily reach 6 to 6.2 early next week through fears of what the USA’s latest action against Iran means given that Turkey & Iran share a border, albeit some 1100 miles from the Vine Fruit region.

Only this morning the Turkish government voted to allow troops to be deployed in Libya to aid the government in a “training & advisory” role in their bid to end a civil war. This action has already been widely condemned by many countries and other NATO members. This increase in escalation adds another political factor to consider alongside Turkey’s issues with Kurds in Syria and any potential fallout with the international community.

Worldwide Competition

Pricing coming out of China and Iran is $200 to $300 per tonne cheaper than it’s closest Turkish equivalent. Both origins have plenty of material to sell and are offering material on medium to long term contracts for sizable tonnage. Californian prices have drastically reduced over the last 3 months and instead of being $500 to $700 per tonne over Turkish are now around $150 to $200, which is a lot closer for those markets that prefer Californian material (the Japanese market being a large import market that will pay that level of premium). Harvests in Southern Hemisphere producing countries are on the horizon with reasonable crops expected by both Chile and South Africa. Worldwide supply is plentiful and on the main competitively priced.

Overall Summation

Given all of the above the biggest factor in downward pricing for me is the fact that Turkey competes with Turkey. Slow exports/sales coupled with large stockholdings in packers hands and a weak Lira against the USD will mean that packers start to chase sales by dropping their margin. How far and how quick prices will drop is going to be the main thing to keep a very close eye on in the coming weeks, an opportunity to secure a good price before any potential frost/storm damage occurs in March & April is potentially there.

date:  Jan 03, 2020 comments:  Comments Off on Turkish Vine Fruit Update
by:  Sian Koster category:  Latest News Read More

November 2019 Walnut Position Report

The November 2019 Walnut position report is out and the Californian walnut industry is up 1.3% in Nov.2019 over PY and up 1.55% YTD vs. PY. Receipts were 632,060 inshell ton through November 2019. Based on historical information this is estimated to be about 98% of the total which extrapolates a total crop of approximately 645,000 inshell ton. If this comes to fruition, this year’s crop will be about 4% down from the 2018-2019 crop of 672,723 ton. This is a welcome relief from many packer’s beliefs (after receiving in much of the early varieties) that the crop would not make 600,000 ton.

It seems packers remain busy; however, most are unenthusiastic to book spot business for prompt shipment if it obstructs their already fully packed schedules. There has been talk that most packers are at least 60% sold YTD with some over 70% sold. Generally, packers aim to be around 60% sold by January 1st heading into the slower season.

It is likely that the crop will be finalized around 640,000 to 645,000 inshell ton or about approximately 4.0-4.5% down from the 2018-2019 crop. Buyers will continue to question the disparity between this decline in crop size and the approximately 40% price increase on inshell and 20% in kernel prices over last year’s average prices.

date:  Dec 12, 2019 comments:  Comments Off on November 2019 Walnut Position Report
by:  Sian Koster category:  Latest News Read More

Apricot Market Update

  • Exports in November were a steady 9,931 tons, compared to 10,396 tons last year
  • Year to date exports are 39,406 tons compared to 39,971 tons last year.
  • Average price for diced apricots year to date is $2162 FOB compared to last year same period of $2175
  • Average price for whole apricots year to date is $2747 FOB compared to $2795 same period last year

This year’s crop has seen Size 4 sulphured apricot prices pretty much unchanged in Malatya in Lira terms. The Lira has also remained unmoved over the month. Smaller sized apricots prices have moved higher, and larger sizes have edged lower. This reflects the result of the crop being mainly size 4 and larger.

Over the past 10 days there has been noteworthy export business concluded with most importers. This could be due to the frost period starting from the end of February onwards, and importers are looking to lock their customers in through new crop and large retailers.

The sulphured apricot market remains strong, with overall supply down on last years, similar prices, recent Lira stability and exports running in line with last year, it seems there is little downside price risk on apricots, and significant upside.

Organic and natural apricots continue to trade at a significant premium to sulphured, and are all but sold out. This is due to the considerable quality that this year’s crop presented. There was no need to keep a large amount of apricots natural due to few blemishes needing to be concealed.

date:  Dec 06, 2019 comments:  Comments Off on Apricot Market Update
by:  Sian Koster category:  Latest News Read More

Typhoon Kammuri

Typhoon ‘Kammuri’ swept through the Philippines on Tuesday, leaving a half-million people in evacuation centres. It has caused a high volume of damage to schools, airports and daily life has been disrupted. Historically, coconut trees are capable in surviving relatively undisturbed in typhoons, it is too early right now however to establish if Kammuri has caused any damage to the coconut trees in some areas.

The coconut oil market has shown a considerable firmness in the last few weeks, this has also had its effects of desiccated coconut prices. Most Philippine producers of desiccate coconut have withdrawn from the market until evaluation of the damage is complete. It is suspected that they will not return to the market until Monday 9th December.

The firmer coconut oil market and the unfortunate events in the Philippines has led to other origins showing a firmer undertone. Therefore, for those interested in Indonesian DC it may not be a bad moment to cover some of your demands.

date:  Dec 05, 2019 comments:  Comments Off on Typhoon Kammuri
by:  Sian Koster category:  Latest News Read More

Almond Market Update

The Almond board of California has released the much-anticipated Almond Position report.

The report has shown record shipments of +6.89% in comparison to last year’s 247.1 million pounds.

The industry has been anticipating a record shipment report and this has been attained. Exports have shown to reach 202.95 million pounds

DOMESTIC          +62.55 million pounds                  -8.3 percent

EXPORT                +202.95 million pounds                 +13.4 percent

  • INDIA    +26 mill lbs vs 26.7 mill lbs last year        -16% crop year to date
  • SPAIN  +20.1 mill lbs vs 20.5 mill lbs last year     +4% crop year to date
  • GERMANY  +14.7 mill lbs vs 11.7 mill lbs last year  +28%  crop year to date
  • CHINA/HK  +28.6 mill lbs vs 26.2 mill lbs last year  +29%  crop year to date
  • U A E  +17.5 mill lbs vs 6.8 mill lbs last year           +165% crop year to date
  • TURKEY +11 mill lbs vs 4.2 mill lbs                           +157% crop year to date
  • S KOREA  +6 mill lbs vs 4.9 mill lbs last year          0% difference compared to last year

YEAR TO DATE SHIPMENTS:   +609.4 million pounds compared to 570.1 million pounds last year for an increase of +6.89 percent.

  • Americas                             +5 percent
  • Asia                                        +29 percent
  • Europe                                 +25 percent
  • Middle East /Africa          +12 percent

CROP RECEIPTS+1,590 billion pounds compared to 1,553 billion pounds last year for an increase of +2.36 percent.  Most industry experts still predict the crop to reach 2.35 to 2.45 billion pounds, up over the July Objective Crop Estimate of 2.2 billion pounds.

The Californian harvest is now complete, the crops in Bakersfield and Fresno are up, however Modesto and Chico areas are down. Overall it seems the quality is very good.  Fresno and Bakersfield areas have seen lighter colors a lower insect damage, whilst North Modesto areas have seen larger sizes.

October saw record sales, an increase of +6.67% over last year’s 276,509,335 pounds.  The Industry is now sold at +48.7 percent based on a 2.4-billion-pound crop and +52.7 percent sold based on a 2.2-billion-pound crop.

Prices during October climbed on Stds-5% reaching $3.00 per lbs FAS, NP Extra #1 23/25 staying between 3.25-3.30 per lbs FAS, Cal SSR at 3.05- 3.10 FAS, BP SSR at 3.08- 3.12 per lbs FAS, NP Inshell SS 70 at 2.25- 2.30 FAS, and Blanch Slice/Slivers at 3.80 per lbs FAS. The Middle East continues to buy and ship in advance of Ramadan next Spring, resulting in record shipments, to make sure they have enough product in to supply requirements.

On following this, November looks very promising. Expectations show it will be another extremely strong month for shipments.

date:  Nov 13, 2019 comments:  Comments Off on Almond Market Update
by:  Sian Koster category:  Latest News Read More

New Crop Cranberry Update

As the cranberry crop draws to completion, it is no surprise to most people that the crop has come in a lot smaller than expected. Nearly all growing regions in north America are down. Most affected being Wisconsin, it has been rumored that the crop is approximately 25% off of the estimate. That’s more than 1 Million barrels less than expected in just one state. The reasons for this loss are mainly down to the cold and wet weather creating & overall poor growing conditions.

Poor growing conditions have also impacted Quebec. The crop is also down significantly, with the worst affected being the Organic crop.

The fruit size has also been acknowledged as small leading to may good quality berries not making it into the bin because of their small size. Although ones that did are still considered smaller than what you expect ‘typical’. The above is good indicator of why the crop volume was less than expected. Better news is the quality does appear to be good, although this is just indicative & will be made clearer when the new crop starts being processed.

As expected, this is already having an impact on pricing.  Concentrate pricing has already moved up to $16.00 per gallon (up from around $14.00).

date:  Nov 13, 2019 comments:  Comments Off on New Crop Cranberry Update
by:  Sian Koster category:  Latest News Read More

Walnut Market Update October 2019

The Walnut board have released the in-demand October shipment report. Total shipments for the month were 93,870 tons, up 2.7% from last year. Total shipments YTD are now 120,102 tons, up 1.7% from last year. Inshell shipments were the star, up 8.2% on the month and 7.8% YTD. Kernel shipments are down 2.5% for the month and down 2.4% YTD. Total receipts are now at 583,199 tons.

Shipments deemed higher than a lot of people predicted. It is now important to consider that the industry is ahead of last year and this year’s crop, potentially 30-60k tons less than last year.

The middle east and Europe, with Turkey, UAE and Germany as the outliers. YTD, the middle east is up 47.1% on inshell and Europe is up 6.87% on inshell and 21.02% on kernels. Germany is up 228% on kernels (down 2.7% on inshell). Although parts of this could be contributed due to them stepping into the market before other regions, it is still very impressive.

Looking at the other major regions, the USA market is nearly flat to last year on kernels. Asia however, was down 62.6% on inshell and 26.7% on kernels.

Since the 2014 crop, the industry has been anywhere from 88.8% – 92.3% received by October 31st.

Processors thoughts are that the numbers are believed to be at the lower end this year. Reasons behind this include the crop starting late but finishing early. A few packers were rumored to be almost fully received by October 31st, with the later ones estimated they were only 90-93% received. Next month’s report however will help clarify crop size.

Landing into the report, we have seen walnuts trading at the following levels: JL Howard at $1.33-1.35, JL Chandler at $1.42-1.43, LHP 20 at $3.25-3.30, LHP 40 at $3.35-3.40, Chandler LHP 20 at $3.35-3.40, Chandler LHP 40 at $3.45-3.50, Chandler LHP 80 $3.80-3.85.

Although the above is a good indication to what degree the market is committed and sold still remains ambiguous, despite this there is indications that packers are ‘historically’ on pace.

date:  Nov 11, 2019 comments:  Comments Off on Walnut Market Update October 2019
by:  Sian Koster category:  Latest News Read More

The Current Situation in Chile

The Current Situation in Chile- Exporting Effects

This week marks the third week of strikes and riots occurring across Chile. These strikes have seen violence, arson and looting of private and public property.

All of these proceedings have been occurring alongside with strikes from the main services concerning the export of agricultural products. Ports, highways and government serviced like SAG and customs services have all been affected.

Unions have been supporting the social demands therefore shutting down their operations at the ports. At the present time (TPS) and (STI) are returning to their normal conditions however with caution.

So far, the operations of most dried fruits and nuts companies have seen a decline in terms of production and shipments due to the lack of public transport for their workers, ports, and roads being occasionally closed.

date:  Nov 08, 2019 comments:  Comments Off on The Current Situation in Chile
by:  Sian Koster category:  Latest News Read More