Unexpected frost damage on apricots and hazelnut made a huge impact on prices and industry behaviors. We thought giving you a quick info on current market situation for the products we supply will be useful on your purchase plans.
Download: Dried Fruits and Nuts Market Report April 2014 (PDF)
World’s larger apricot producer Malatya (province of Turkey) experienced a major frost at the final week of March.
Higher (than expected) temperatures on January and February caused fruit trees to bloom early which made them more sensitive to frost.
It’s said that approximately 80 percent of total apricot crop is damaged, especially at the regions with a high altitude. Market prices are surged as the farmers and stockists stopped supply by thinking that 2014 crop will be very weak and they wait to sell their current stocks at much higher prices on August / September.
We also think that frost damage on apricots will cause a big raise on California and Uzbekistan apricots due to short harvest in Turkey.
We strongly recommend importers to make their purchasing forecasts and take action as soon as possible, because market prices seem to get 2500 – 3000 US Dollars per tone higher than now.
Rumors are that mulberry trees also effected from the major frost at Malatya region and 40 percent of mulberry crop is damaged.
Fortunately, Malatya is not the only region growing mulberries. Elazig and Adiyaman provinces are also strong grower regions and they did not have frost.
Big chaos for the apricots also slowed down dried mulberry supply at Malatya region even the frost damage is correct or not. As mulberries are a niche product with a much lower production comparing to apricots, market players were already having sourcing problems since months.
This year, demand for dried mulberry increased rapidly (especially from Europe) and Turkey caught unexpected. As the final consumers know more about mulberries, demands spread around the world and we believe that supply will react to increasing demand with higher prices because production is very small.
It’s forecasted that 2014 crop prices will be at least %25 higher and follow an increasing trend due to growing demand, limited supply, frost damage (probability) and strong Turkish Lira. Big mess at the Malatya region Higher (than expected) temperatures on January and February caused fruit trees to bloom early which made them more sensitive to frost.
Currently, exporters do not have any dried mulberries in their stocks left and it’s almost impossible to source for more.
Having an idea about dried mulberries 2014 crop price levels and availability is a bit early right now. After mulberry trees bloom (in few months) we will have a clear idea about crop.
Mulberry harvest will be on August and it is very important for us to receive your annual inquiries and pre-order requests to offer you better prices, make our purchase plans accordingly and stock the goods for you. Otherwise importers and wholesalers of dried mulberries may have a big supply problem to fulfill their needs. Please contact us regarding pre-order inquiries.
Goji berry dealers had big issues with production in China because of pesticides, overuse of sulphur and some other microbiological problems on 2013 crop.
Quality and harvest problems made goji berries to have an increasing price trend throughout the year. Since last month, there is a big lack of supply and importers having a big problem to find secure sources.
As the total 2013 crop goji berry quantities are getting very low and supply is getting harder, prices raised %20 and huge demand still remains.
Buyers are ready to make down payments and wait 45 – 60 days for goji berries to arrive when they find secure supply. New crop of Goji Berries will be ready around July / August 2014 at Ningxia, China. We will have a better insight about crop quality on June and will start new contracts at that time.
Due to sky high pricing on the first months of new crop, Turkey let other origins to take a share of their market domination.
Large number of the manufacturers using sultanas as an ingredient have looked at the other regions such as South Africa, Iran and California.
This year Turkish crop seem so far so good and production will likely to surpass 300,000 metric tones. Of course there is a frost risk because warmer spring temperatures came early to growing region but we’re thankful at least weather went fine until now.
If Turkey do not have any surprising problems like frost, we think market prices will get lower comparing to 2013 crop because Turkey needs to regain their lost market share and importers need a reason to switch back to Turkish sultanas.
Dried Figs stocks are currently short in Turkey and mostly low quality figs are left which keeps exporters away due to a risk of having quality problems while processing and/or shipping.
While we say that mostly low grade dried figs are left in market stocks, prices are not acting the same way. Because of stable demand and strong Turkish Lira keeps prices at same levels and even higher.
Turkish hazelnuts had a big frost damage between 29th and 30th March 2014, which hit over %50 of hazelnut crop. Briefly the same pattern of behavior seen as it happened in the dried apricot market.
Worlds biggest hazelnut supplier Turkey had a major hit by the cold temperatures between 29th and 30th March 2014 which followed by frost at the main growing region The Black Sea (Giresun, Ordu, Trabzon provinces). Frost damaged over %50 of hazelnut orchards. It reminded us another frost which damaged hazelnuts on 2004.
At first, Turkish growers and exporters panicked and stopped all offers for couple weeks. After that all players came across with a doubled prices and very slow supply because of chaos and unstable market conditions.
There is a still ongoing frost risk and if Black Sea have one more catastrophe like this, hazelnut production may be ruined totally. We expect prices to climb even more and falling production will also hamper exports.
Apricot kernels are having a hard year especially for the organic and natural (not sulphured) types. It is not possible to find any organic or natural apricot kernels (for both sweet and bitter types) and even getting harder to source sulphured apricot kernels after apricot crops had a major frost damage.
As you may predict, apricot kernel supply is completely tied to apricot supply. This year having low crop on natural apricots also lowered organic and natural apricot kernel supply. And big frost damage which effected over %80 of total apricot crop effected apricot kernel market in a same way.
Current market prices are %75 higher comparing few weeks ago (before frost damage).
Organic Apricot Kernel demand significantly increased in Europe markets with bitter apricot kernels health impacts and sweet apricot kernels are used as a replacement to almonds, which also followed very high market prices this year.
We expect apricot kernel prices will not go any lower until 2015 crop and suggest importers to update their forecasts and inform their sales channels about increasing price trends.