Author Archives Simon Heather

The Walnut Board of California has released the February Monthly Shipment Report

The Walnut Board of California has released the February Monthly Shipment Report:

February  of 2016 compared to February  2015 Shipments– February 2016 shipments were 50,373  Inshell equivalent tons compared to 40,474   Inshell equivalent tons last year. Representing an increase of +24%.  Another strong shipment month for the industry creating more bullish sentiments among industry experts.

Year to date Shipments 2015/2016 vs. 2014/2015 Marketing Year- Inshell Equivalent Tonnage for the 2015/2016 crop is 368,103   compared to 319,863  last year.  Representing an increase  of 48,240  inshell equivalent tons equaling +15%walnuts1

CROP RECEIPTS– Receipts are 599,846 Inshell tons as of February 29th  2016. .  The CASS Crop Estimate was at 575,000 Inshell tons.

Crop –  The  crop receipts  on this report are a  good indication on overall crop size.

Rain: The rains in California are back.  El Nino has shown up with multiple inches of rain and feet of snow in the mountains.  We expect to see at least some additional rainfall through the middle of next week.  The overall outlook into March is to have periodic weather patterns and continued rain and snow in the mountains.

Pricing  –.  A lot more  packers are reporting only a few loads of inshell and kernels left in their inventory.   LHP 80% Chandler is now very difficult to find as some packers are down to 1-2 loads.  If you are looking for LHP Chandler, please look to book some volume in the near future.  As we get closer to the summer and it starts getting HOT, that item will darken quicker.    The item that continues to  put the most pressure on the market at this time is Combo Halves and Pieces.  Many packers are reporting that they have an over stock of CHP in their inventory and will be aggressive in pricing to get it moved.

Chile:  We have spoken to some of the Chilean Walnut packers and they have started to offer some of their earliest varieties of including Serr and Chandler.  Not all packers are motivated to sell Chandler Kernels yet, as they are focused on getting some of their inshell business going first. Overall quality looks very good.  If yo have demand please advise us.

date:  Mar 14, 2016 comments:  Comments Off on The Walnut Board of California has released the February Monthly Shipment Report
by:  Simon Heather category:  Latest News Read More

The Almond Board of California has released the February Almond position report

The Almond Board of California has released the February Almond position report with shipments of  +155 million pounds compared to last year 139.9 million pounds for an increase of  +10.8 percent.  This shipment number was the second highest month for the month February that we have had for the industry.

January Shipments surprised a few people with how strong they were.  We expected strong shipments this year in February, as last year in February we were dealing with the West Coast Port strikes and our sales in January of this year were quite strong.  This  shipment report is a bullish report in the eyes of many industry experts.  India was off by 54% which will turn into a very bullish sentiment as their local market is lacking product.049

  • Exports                                 +14.6%
  • Domestic                             +3.7%
  • China                                     +13%
  • India                                      -54%
  • Spain                                     +58%
  • Germany                              0%
  • United Arab Emirates      -22%

YEAR TO DATE SHIPMENTS:    +991 million pounds compared to  1.058 billion pounds last year for a decrease of  6.28 percent.

USA                -6%

  • Spain                         +30%
  • Germany      -21%
  • Italy               +35%
  • China             -7%
  • India              10%

CROP RECEIPTS+1.882 billion pounds.

CURRENCY:  The Euro is at  $1.10 dollars.

BLOOM: Bloom has finished.  Overall bloom was strong.  Excellent weather, good bee hours, and sporadic rains allowed for the trees to have a good bloom.  We will have  a better idea on the upcoming crop during the next two months.  This initial indications are for a solid crop.  Additionally, we have had good rains this season which has assisted our snow pack in the Sierra mountains.

PRICES:   At these new levels we are seeing a growing level of demand materialize for both current and new crop at this time.  Almonds are extremely favorably priced and we will start seeing a quicker sales on them at these present levels.

date:  Mar 14, 2016 comments:  Comments Off on The Almond Board of California has released the February Almond position report
by:  Simon Heather category:  Latest News Read More

Turkish Apricot Update

Apricot Update
Exports in February were 5,507 tons compared with 3,485 tons last year an increase of 58%

Year to date exports reached 51,913 tons compared to 32,871 tons last year, an increase of 58%

Year to date consumption including domestic consumption is now approximately 58,000 tons. Total supply was approximately 80,000 tons.

Crop to sell out
Robust exports, inline with expectations. Exports look likely to continue at similar levels until new crop in August, leaving negligible carryover.

Bloom starts 2 to 3 weeks early
Following record warm temperatures in February, the orchards along the lake started to bloom last week, during the course of this week, the majority of the remaining growing areas  will join them. Such an early bloom is always risky. Temperatures are cooling closer to normal, but the 10 day forecast so far does not forecast frost.  The risk period is 6 to 8 weeks from now and getting through it completely unscathed is unlikely.

The market is steady, small sizes are sold out, packers seem to have squared their books ahead of the frost risk period which will dictate future price trends. Lack of a carryover to cushion any damage makes things extra risky.

The Turkish Lira has strengthened against the $ in the past week and is now trading at Tl 2.92 / $1

date:  Mar 08, 2016 comments:  Comments Off on Turkish Apricot Update
by:  Simon Heather category:  Latest News Read More

Californian Almond Update

For all intents and purposes the 2016 bloom is complete with only a very few straggling orchards finishing petal fall and moving into the nutlet stage. The valley is transforming into a sea of bright green as orchards vigorously sprout new leaves and nutlets. Given the quick progression of the bloom period, the 2016 bloom will be considered a “flash bloom”.

The past 7 days have been ideal for almond pollination, above normal temperatures, plenty or bright sunshine to facilitate abundant bee activity and an absence of any inclement weather. Equally important to the development of the crop, the conditions facilitate the rapid growth of nutlets improving the possibility of nut retention.

Below please find an evaluation of the factors playing a major role in setting a successful crop for the in the 3 stages of bloom.


Chilling Hours:  Average to above normal throughout the valley

Soil moisture: Winter storms began in October and continued through January providing saturated soils and leaching of salts

Bud Set: Given the below normal crop last year bud development appeared to be strong


Flowering: Strong bloom consistent with coming off a short crop

Overlap of Varieties: Average with some reports Fritz out a little early

Temperatures: Above normal throughout the valley consistently in the high  60”s ( 15C)to low 70’s (21C) Many areas set records for consecutive days above 70’s degrees

Moisture: One minor weather event during flowering with little or no damage reported. Orchard moistures were reported to be good with dew or fog in morning on multiple days. No reports of frost or temperatures near freezing

Bee Hours: Excellent bee activity every day

Post bloom

Excellent weather up to this point for healthy nut development. A major storm system will be hitting California today through Wednesday which is forecasted to drop significant rain on the valley floor and several feet of snow in the mountains. NOAA long-term forecast for March is for above normal rainfall and below normal temperatures.

Despite the excellent weather conditions during pollination, it is impossible to estimate the success of the bloom at this time. It is often said the weather after the bloom is as critical as during the bloom. Unfortunately the post bloom weather outlook is less than ideal.  Moreover keep in mind that California’s Central Valley has the threat of frost well into April.

Below please find the potential 2016 crop using the actual yield for the last 5 years and a bearing acreage of 920,000 acres.

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Actual Yield per Acre in Lbs. 2,540 2,310 2,360 2,150 2,135
Projected 2016 Crop using yield per acre Yields

(Millions of lbs.)

2,337 2,125 2,171 1,978 1,964


date:  Mar 08, 2016 comments:  Comments Off on Californian Almond Update
by:  Simon Heather category:  Latest News Read More

Turkish Sultana & Raisin Update

Relating to the recent news and dramatic market changes, we would like to give you brief market information about Turkish Sultana Raisins.

Nowadays, raw material as well as the export market of Turkish Sultana Raisins having active days. Firstly, on 19th Jan 2016, EU Commission has published a Regulation (EU 2016/60). Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for chlorpyrifos stating that according to EU commission, Raisins MRL content lowered 0,5 ppm to 0,01 ppm starts from 10 August 2016. This news made a shock affect in the market in first weeks of February. Mentioned Chlorpyrifos ingredient exist in various legal pesticides in the market and widely used in all over the Turkish vineyards. Mainly against the diseases on bunches, pesticides that have active element of chlorpyrifos are used from the start of August when bunches appear. So the first step from the government should be the recall the all type of pesticides that has the ingredient from the market and ban the usage of the such pesticides in vineyards and finally of course to control the sustainability.

Turkish raisins crop 90% is exported to EU countries. As a result of planned 10th August is very soon for agricultural industry, it appeared to be a very big risk that current remaining crop cannot be exported to EU that has widely occurrence of chlorpyrifos. This shock affect pulled the bourse prices down to TL4,10 levels in just 3 weeks from TL4,80 previous levels.

Panicked raw material handlers try to sell out their stocks in order to clean current crop raw materials that made a huge supply in raw material market. Also export offer prices come to USD.1650-1700pmtons Fob İzmir levels due to the big supply. Accordingly weekly export volumes, we can see also the shipments reached almost 5000mtons of sultana raisins per week that is even higher than last year with a much bigger crop size.

Around 10 years ago, one of the active substances from a widely used pesticide was also forbidden from the EU in a very short duration. At that time, meetings with the EU community and Turkish government resulted that legislation has postponed 1 year more for Turkish Raisins product item only in order to protect the crop, production and trade business. Many exporters this year is also expecting such conclusion from already started meetings with EU commission. If another a year postpone is gained, growers and government may have enough time to recall and clean the prohibited pesticides as well as the market can get to normal price levels. Otherwise, not only this year but also 2016 crop prices will be affected by this regulations change that Turkey is historically start new seasons with carry-over stock.

Moreover, still too high temperatures goes on the production areas which we mentioned before is a big risk of early born. Today, we can see the vineyards already awake. February was averagely 5-10C above the seasonal temperatures. These days, we see 25-28 C in Manisa production areas that may provoke even faster growing of the plants. Eventually, we may see a high risk of damage if frost condition end March or beg. April 2016. Resulting the vineyards are growing very early this season, cold related incidents may damage in big percentages of the 2016 new crop. Together with the pesticide issues, raw material prices may hit very high level in the beginning of the new crop. That’s the reason nowadays many European buyers do as much as contract from the record low prices this year.

Source: Dorain Trade

date:  Mar 02, 2016 comments:  Comments Off on Turkish Sultana & Raisin Update
by:  Simon Heather category:  Latest News Read More

South African Raisin Update

We would like to update you on the South African Raisins for the current crop, based on the information that we obtained from our suppliers.

It is obvious that due to the rains, considerable damage has been done to the sultanas. Goldens have recovered a bit with the Merbein variety later in the season and a stronger race than the weaker sultanas . Demand for good goldens is slower than usual as the main markets in North Africa  and the Far East lacking money with the low oil prices. The numbers we aim at as crop figures will be around 7000 tons goldens, compared to 12.000 last year.

date:  Mar 02, 2016 comments:  Comments Off on South African Raisin Update
by:  Simon Heather category:  Latest News Read More

Turkish Apricot Update

Turkey is experiencing unprecedented warm weather. We have broken record highs for the past 2 days, with weather in Malatya exceeding 20 C by day and 5 C by night, average for this time of the year is 5 C during the day and –2 C at night. Izmir has seen 27 C the previous record for February was 24 C !

The forecast for the coming 10 days is for similar weather, which would probably result in a very risky February apricot bloom a full month earlier than usual.

Link to 10 day forecast:

date:  Feb 17, 2016 comments:  Comments Off on Turkish Apricot Update
by:  Simon Heather category:  Latest News Read More

South African Field Report

Vine Fruit:


The impact of the rain experienced towards the end of January is more significant than initially reported. Crop estimates early in January still mentioned a crop of 55 000 tons. Some farmers have lost 40-60% of their crop resulting in a much higher of no value component in the crop. It is still difficult to estimate eventual crop size, but our view is that it will be 40 000 tons or even smaller. The volumes of lighter colored product will be limited as most of the fresh fruit had to be dried as Thompsons sundried raisins or WP sultanas.

Weather has been good since the rain reduced the crop. We have seen some good quality golden sultanas being dried, but OR sultanas will be extremely limited.

Our view is to offer product rather than paper, therefore offers have been placed on hold until we have a firm grip on availability and quality we will be able to offer. In our experience it is always better to wait slightly longer to ensure we have the product rather than offering product still to be harvested, resulting in contracts not being honored.

We will provide an update regarding crop availability by the end of February.

The product we can still offer today is currants as this product is grown in other part of SA near to Vredendaal and not in Upington region.


Tree Fruit:

The significantly smaller apricot crop does not permit us to offer at this moment and the chances to get some are very limited.

Peaches and pears have been offered and quality should be good. Some volumes of mango is also available at competitive prices.

date:  Feb 15, 2016 comments:  Comments Off on South African Field Report
by:  Simon Heather category:  Latest News Read More

Hazelnut Update

Since the turn of the year Turkish Hazelnut prices have declined 18% in lira terms and 15.5% in US$ terms, the trend was broken briefly by a temporary rise in the second half of January as snowy conditions prevented supply from coming to market. Earlier this week the market was almost back levels seen before the 2014 frost! Prices have fallen over the last six months from record highs seen during the 2014 crop shortage. With the 2015 crop estimated at approximately 725,000 mt Turkish farmers are having to realize such a market was unsustainable.


Latest export figures show 138 124 mt kernels were shipped till Friday 5th February (against 115 901 mt last year to date) even though higher than last season they can be viewed as disappointing considering the market was hoping for a considerable return in demand as prices came back to more realistic price levels. Since mid-January weekly shipments are even down on the same weeks last year. It seems that by holding back in the early part of the season, farmers managed to keep prices higher than would have been expected, but now pay for this by limiting a return in demand. Any delay of consumption will increase the expected 2015 crop surplus which will ultimately be left with farmers.


Despite the fundamental oversupply and historically firm prices, farmers, via growers organizations have been lobbying and demonstrating to bring the Turkish Government to intervene (Fiskobirlik + TMO). The Government have made clear its not their policy to make interventions, however, this being Turkey means nothing is ever fully off the table.


Attention over the next six weeks will focus on weather and development of 2016 new crop, the winter so far has been favorable with enough cold weather to keep bushes dormant, any unexpected change in weather patterns will surely be reflected on the market.

date:  Feb 12, 2016 comments:  Comments Off on Hazelnut Update
by:  Simon Heather category:  Latest News Read More