Worrying times for Californian Raisins
Domestic sales in America have dropped by 35 % last month (31% down overall). If sales continue to drop it is likely that we will see some kind of price correction in January/February. This is likely to be welcome news to exports markets. However this may be too late for processors to adjust grower contracts and in turn it may be a case that they will be forced into high priced grower contracts at very high prices and the results may be continued market share losses in all markets.
Right now we are looking at about 70,000 ton carryout on July 31. Not all of this tonnage is marketable. It can be estimated that about 30% is not marketable. Therefore, there should be about 50,000 tons that is good fruit. Almost 40% of this fruit belongs to Sun-Maid so the balance of around 30,000 tons will be split between the other 12 or so processors. Everyone is going to be running on fumes by the end of July and going forward will only be worse until the new crop is delivered and in the hands of the processors.
Prices will remain high until California on the whole realises the higher prices are causing huge losses in market share.
Field prices are being reported near $2400-$2600 per short ton for new crop. This would put the selling prices near $1.70-$1.80. This could be another disastrous year for 2018 in the California Raisin Industry.
The forecast for the 2018 crop will be near 240,000 tons. Given the carryout at 70,000 tons, the total availability will be 310,000 tons. This is still 30,000 tons less than last year.