· Exports in February were 7,740 tons, compared to 6,725 tons last year, an increase of 15%
· Exports year to date are 67,103 tons compared to 55,953 tons last year, an increase of 20%
· Average export price for whole apricots for February was $3028/ton FOB compared to $3109 last year.
Another strong export figure for February. Prices for this season are now converging with last seasons prices, and we expect in the next month or two at most for average monthly export prices to surpass last years.
Quality material size 5 and larger is no longer available in the daily market in Malatya, any remaining stock is in the hands of packers. We do not think any packers have significant long positions.
We conclude that the crop will be exported in its entirety, longer term price trends will be dictated by the weather over the coming weeks.
Bloom has started, on average we are a week to 10 days earlier than normal. As of today about 20% of the bloom is open, this will increase to around 50% by the weekend, and up to 75% by end of next week. Weather for the next six weeks is crucial for determining the 2018 crop tonnage (and for the following 3 months for the quality). Currently there are no frosts forecast for the next 10 days, though temperatures around zero are forecast for Saturday morning.
There has been some rain over the past month, but reservoirs are less than 50% and a lot more is needed if problems are to be avoided during the summer.