Turkish Apricot Update 04/04/2019
2018 Crop · Exports in March were 8,386 tons, compared to 7,807 tons last year, an increase of 7.5% ·
Exports year to date are 75,276 tons compared to 74,910 tons last year, an increase of 0.5% · Average export price for whole apricots for March was $2675/ton FOB compared to $2924 for 2017 crop. Strong exports in line with expectations are being fuelled by the lowest prices since 2012. Year end exports are likely to end close to 2017 crop total exports which were 95,000 tons. With a further 7,000 to 10,000 tons of domestic consumption, carryover will once again be minimal.
The lira has been volatile over the past few weeks ahead of the local elections on the 31st of March. The future direction of the currency is unclear, though there are no more elections for over 4 years, as such there is a window for the government to enact the necessary policies to promote economic recovery. The current exchange rate is 5.64 to the $. Following the frost of the 23-25th March the market in Malatya has pausedpending assessment of the damage. We suspect there is short covering to be done when sellers reappear.
2019 Crop Bloom started around the 10thof March. On the 23 to 25th of March widespread frost saw temperatures between -2 and -5 C for several hours. At the time of the frost approximately 20% of the bloom had just set, mainly around the Karakaya Reservoir, 40% of the bloom was underway and 40% had not yet started. Therefore 60% of the crop was at risk of frost damage.
Significant damage is evident, and insurance companies have been called to assess damage. It is too early to quantify, but at this stage it looks unlikely the 2019 crop will reach the tonnage of the past 2 years.