Year to date exports are 48,578 tons compared to 107,742 last year.
We expect similar or slightly lower levels for July leaving no significant carry over.
The harvest of new crop has started on the plains, both for the fresh market and for drying. The fresh fruit market is paying between 2 Lira and 4 Lira depending on the quality (blemished and small fruit being the cheaper end of the range), this equates to a dried price in the region of $5.00 per kg for clean size 4 fruit. Fresh fruit buyers are reporting orchards coming in lighter than they expected. There is very little small fruit indeed, with much of the crop expected to dry down to size 2 and 3. First arrivals are expected to come to the market at the beginning of August, with early arrivals eagerly awaited by an empty market.
Consensus is for a small crop of between 70,000 and 80,000 tons.
Organic will be tight, there is lively competition for a reduced number of organic growers and uncovered buyers are recommended to book their requirements now if they do not want to be left without fruit again this year.
Larger packers have been reluctant to offer aggressively fearing grower resistance to current pricing, and having zero carryover stocks against which to hedge any foreword sales. Except in the very biggest crops, ie those above 150,000 tons, we do not see prices fall during the first quarter of the season. The most likely scenario is for rising prices during the busy autumn period when packers will compete with speculators who are cash rich after the major price rises last year.
Packers who defaulted on their contracts last year are throwing attention grabbing prices at the market hoping to attract new customers to replace those they let down last year. The end result is a less than transparent market situation.
The buyers are currently weighing up the best time and price to get into the market, and with time moving against them I suspect they will all jump at the same time (as usual), and this in itself may trigger the sort of movement the packers are nervous of. We think the current prices are appropriate for the size of crop expected, they have held steady for the past month or so.