Shipments of Turkish sultanas are underway and expected to land in the UK at the end of this month.
There is an exceptionally high demand for new material due to the temporary shortage of unsold raw material in the UK. The harvest in Turkey is ongoing despite some reports of intermittent rainfall, although has not affected the quality of the crop. However, the rain will affect the colour of the fruit, darkening the skin and increasing the quantity of type No.8 sultanas against type No.9 and type No.10 quality.
Early reports have shown that the percentage of fruit dried as raisins by Turkish farmers this year will be less than the previous year. On following this, there may be a slightly higher difference in price for Turkish raisins. Currently, raisins are commanding a USD 100-150/Tonne premium over sultanas.
There have been positive reports that the first shipments of Greek Currents are leaving the port of Piraeus. There has been information that the shipment is of good quality and quantity with an expected volume of around 20,000 – 22,000 tonnes.
UK demands for Greek currents are steady. The UK market have recently drifted away from currents due to higher prices and lack of availability. However, Currents are a traditional ingredient for a number of seasonal lines, such as Christmas puddings and mincemeat so sales should intensity up to the run up to Christmas.
It has been reported that China’s crop of raisins and sultanas this year is larger, however this has coincided with an increase domestic demand. China has been a growing market for California raisins but at present duty is payable at over 50% on US raisins so sales have slumped. These have been replaced by exports from Uzbekistan and Chile, which have a nil duty agreement with China.
Imports of Chinese raisins to the EU and the UK market are likely to be modest this year as, despite a lower price, UK buyers prefer the quicker shipment and ready availability of fruit form Turkey. South Africa, California and Australia are likely to continue to supply the UK market with premium grade fruit, albeit at a higher price.
US raisin crop for this year is expected to be smaller this could create some upward pressure on the price of the US raisins. however, so far, the demand from the UK market has not increased dramatically so prices remain steady with select grade Thompson Seedless raisins available between USD 1.05 – 1.06 PER PINT C&F Felixstowe.
We have seen a slight improvement in the value of sterling against both the Dollar and the Euro over the past few days. This improvement will help kick start the new season for the UK dried Fruit market but there is continued uncertainty with the end of October Brexit Deadline.