Turkish Apricots Update

Date: 16th March 2015 Category: Latest News
Turkish Apricots Update

Apricot Update 16th March 2015

Exports in February were 3,485 compared to 9,843 last year.apricots3
Year to date exports are 32,871 compared to 79,215.
Year to date domestic consumption is estimated at 4,000 tons

Exports were in line with expectations, roughly the same tonnage as January. Remaining stocks are limited to perhaps 12,000 tons of all grades which at the current rate would sell out in May.

The bloom has started in Malatya on the plains and lakeshore (Kale, Malatya, Battalgazi). Other areas will come into bloom over the coming 1 to 3 weeks under normal weather conditions. The bloom looks like it will occur over a longer period than last year which will reduce the risk of a total wipeout similar to last years. Weather is not ideal, it has turned five degrees C cooler than last week, and forecast dropping further as the week progresses with northerly wind, rain and snow.  Mild to moderate frosts are forecast in every growing region over the next 7 days. If the current forecasts are realized then we would expect little or no damage in early areas, and a possible delay in bloom in later areas but it is very finely balanced, and a couple of degrees in either direction would see a very different prognosis.

Region                          Mon      Tues        Wed     Thu     Fri        Sat         Sun         Bloom Expected     Forecast source as at 16.00 Istanbul 16.3.15
                                      16th     17th        18th      19th   20th      21st      22nd        to Start
                                        H/L      H/L           H/L       H/L     H/L       H/L         H/L
Central Malatya          10/0      11/1        13/3     10/4    10/-1    7/-1      9/1           Started                http://www.weather.com/weather/tenday/l/TUMA0389:1:TU
Battalgazi                      9/0       11/1         13/3    10/4     10/-1    7/-1       9/1            Started                http://www.weather.com/weather/tenday/l/TUMA0077:1:TU
Darende                        10/3     10/0        13/3      8/3       8/-1      5/-2      9/-1          5-8 days               http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/findweather/
Akcadag                         9/0       12/0        13/3      9/4      10/-1    7/-2      9/0           5-8 days               http://www.weather.com/weather/tenday/l/TUXX0127:1:TU
Baskil                              0/-1     9/0         11/3      7/2       8/-2      5/-4      7/-2         5-10 days            http://www.wunderground.com/q/zmw:00000.6.17202
Hekiman                        7/-2      7/-2         9/1        7/1      6/-4      2/-6      6/-4         10-15 days           http://www.weather.com/weather/today/l/TUMA0444:1:TU
Dogansehir                   7/-1      11/0      12/2        8/1      9/-2      6/-2      8/0          10-15 days           http://www.weather.com/weather/tenday/l/TUXX0329:1:TU

With the bloom starting end last week one small packer (allegedly in need of new customers after his lack of  performance this year), dropped the prices $500 per ton, we suspect without actually selling anything, a few packers holding high prices stocks followed suite. The crazy season has arrived. Whereas prices early in the season may have gone too high, we think that they have now gone too low, and any worsening in the forecast above, or indeed any frost over the next 45 days, and we could everyone withdraw and prices double overnight. Some packers stepped into  the market over the weekend either short covering or as a result of fresh demand created by the lower prices.

apricots1The Turkish Lira has been weak, trading around 2.63/$ and the outlook for the currency is far from clear. We have elections in June, and with the uncertainty and political tension in the markets, and a roaring green back it is difficult to see a stronger Lira in the near future, but stranger things have happened.

There are persistent reports of long term damage to trees in some areas due to last years record frost, we think this is an unproven claim at this stage, but will keep an eye on orchards in those areas.

We are heading for an interesting crop year, many small and some large packers who defaulted last year, have become very wealthy as a result, and un needed new capacity will be springing up all over the valleys supported by slick new websites purporting to be the biggest and best . As is always the case following such a bull market many packers will be looking for new customers to replace those they let down last year, and will be trying to tempt new clients with attractive offers.  This is only one of the headwinds we expect in the coming season, shelf space has been lost to other items and will be hard to get back, factory staff have been lost to other industries, but lets at least hope we have some apricots to work with.