Latest export and registration statistics show that the Turkish sultana/raisin crop is fast becoming increasingly tight in terms of raw material supply from farmers to packers. From 1st September 2017 to 28th February 2018 registration on the bourse (the local trade authority) was 273,000 tonnes from a crop estimation of 310,000 tonnes, meaning that only 12% of the crop remains in the hands of farmers/traders. Whilst this will undoubtedly cause some speculative panic amongst packers who will push prices up there is the softening blow that so far during the same period a total of 150,000 tonnes has been exported. Domestic market usage, including the much publicised schools project, is considered somewhere between 25,000 to 30,000 tonnes per annum. So if we consider 180,000 tonnes either exported or used for the domestic market it would leave 130,000 tonnes/42% still to be exported, which should be more just about enough to meet demand before new crop.
|2017 Crop Estimation||310,000|
|Bourse Registration 1/9/17 to 28/2/18||273,000|
|Export Quantity 1/9/17 to 28/2/18||150,000|
This crop prices started to firm a bit earlier, during end November & early December, than in previous years largely down to increased enquiries as other origins suffer with poor quality and reduced crops, Iran & USA. Whilst this increase in cost, circa $250-$300 per ton, was expected as we go through January/February the fact it happened earlier has led to prices subsequently cooling down a little bit in the last 2 to 3 weeks as demand has levelled out. It’s easy to forget that a large number of manufacturers and retailers are well covered forward so the huge demand just isn’t there at this moment of the year As we move into the latter part of the month and into April we are starting to run the risk of adverse weather (frost & hail storms) affecting the vineyards and therefore most packers are just trying to keep things ticking over until they truly know where the market is.
There are two simple scenarios in terms of weather affecting pricing:
- If there is widespread frost & damage across the growing region then prices will rocket skywards overnight
- Whereas if there is no significant frost & damage then prices will likely stay very similar to today’s levels or at best they will ease off ever so slightly. Do not expect a massive fall as the worldwide supply picture is difficult presently.
The market is finely poised with farmers, packers and buyers closely watching the weather in Turkey as it decides which hand the industry will be dealt.