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Banana Chip Update- Philippines

COVID-19 has now caused the National Government of the Philippines to declare a heightened community quarantine across the entire Luzon Island (North Philippines) and nationwide declaration of a state of calamity. This has been decided due to several cases being announced in that Region.

On following this due to the limited movements from sources of green banana, fuel and other suppliers, most banana operations will be erratic. Green banana suppliers do not want to make commitments.

Most suppliers are continuing to operate, however this is dependent on if there’s a supply and if workers wants to go to continue going into work. Curfews will have an effect on deliveries due to checkpoints being closed.

date:  Mar 23, 2020 comments:  Comments Off on Banana Chip Update- Philippines
by:  Sian Koster category:  Latest News Read More

Situation in the Philippines – received from our partners

This is to update you on the current situation here in the Philippines with regards to our fight against COVID -19. Right at this moment, there is already 193 cases here.  Number of death climbed to 14. On the evening of Monday, March 16, our President Duterte declared the whole Luzon Island under enhanced community quarantine.  Staying at home will be strictly implemented. Offices are closed except those working in the medical field, food related work, bank (but limited), police and military, groceries and supermarkets (limited). All public transportations are suspended. You are only allowed to go outside if you are going to buy food, seeking for medical treatment and if going to work. If you don’t have your own vehicle, local government will provide. Curfew from 8pm-5am is also being imposed.

Right now, we are working from our homes.

Then last night, whole Region XI (Davao Region) has also declared lockdown effective today.  And starting midnight of March 19, all vehicles travelling outside this region will be allowed but entering into will be prohibited.

Our worry is, since our raw materials are coming from outside, that is Region XII, there is high possibility that our trucks and (suppliers’) will get hold somewhere and will not be allowed to enter our Region until the lockdown period ends.

We will continue monitoring the situation. We don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow.

The situation here is getting harder everyday. Movement is very limited. I know most of you can relate.

I can’t imagine that we will reach the point that if the situation gets worse, we are afraid that our operation will stop and we will force to shut down the plant. We need to follow the directives of our Government. After all, this is for the welfare of our people.

Right at this moment, the possibility is very high. Until when?  we don’t know.

As I’ve said, we will continue monitoring the situation

date:  Mar 19, 2020 comments:  Comments Off on Situation in the Philippines – received from our partners
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

COVID-19 Customer Update

Covid-19 Update

We would like to update all of our customers & suppliers with the actions that we have taken as a business to ensure that we keep things moving in this extremely challenging time.

As of this morning we have switched all of our staff into 3 teams working in the office 1 day per team on a rota basis. Those members of staff not in the office will be continuing to work remotely via laptops but this will present some challenges as offices throughout the country follow suit. This will mean that we have limited numbers in the office to answer phones so we ask you to channel as much communication as possible via email. List of emails to be used as per below:

Orders & Delivery




All members of our sales team and some members of our technical team are contactable directly via their mobiles and emails.

We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in working through the ever changing challenges that are put in front of us during this outbreak.


Simon Heather


date:  Mar 18, 2020 comments:  Comments Off on COVID-19 Customer Update
by:  Sian Koster category:  Latest News Read More

Turkish Vine Fruit Update March 2020

Export/Registration Numbers & Raw Material Information We have continued to see downward pressure on Turkish prices. Key indicators below go some way to show why: Exports are down 9.1% year on year for September 2019 to end February 2020. Export for February alone was down 17% Y-o-Y (2019 – 19,500 tonnes & 2020 – 16,540 […]

date:  Mar 09, 2020 comments:  Comments Off on Turkish Vine Fruit Update March 2020
by:  Sian Koster category:  Latest News Read More

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